I’m a woman, so obviously I’ve never been a boy scout, but I do try to always be prepared. When my kids were little, I carried enough crap to keep a small army entertained and fed anytime we left the house. I’m one of those obnoxious people that finishes their Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving, sometimes Halloween. And taxes – why wait? By the first week of January the receipts are tallied and I have a spreadsheet that clearly spells out every possible deduction our accountant can use.

But the one thing I’m never prepared for is the death of a family member. We found out last summer that my sister had cancer. It was already at stage four and the prognosis was never good. They thought they could slow down its progress and buy her a couple years. Less than a month ago, they realized it had spread further and faster than expected. She was told to get her affairs in order. We knew her time was dwindling.

Tonight, I received the dreaded call. It was expected and yet not. I don’t think there’s anyway to truly prepare. It was the same way when my mom was ill.We knew it was coming, but when the call came it still felt like I was hit by a ton of bricks.

I think a small part of me always held out a tiny bit of hope. Ridiculous really when you have every medical professional telling you otherwise. I’m usually a ‘glass half empty’ kind of person, but when it comes to the lives of my loved ones I suddenly turn into a ‘it’s mostly full’ kind of person.

While I don’t believe we’re ever truly prepared to let a loved one go, we can learn to appreciate every moment we’re given with each other. Maybe it’s time to overlook how crazy Aunt Barbara gets on your last nerve with her incessant talking. Maybe if you try really hard, you could find a sliver of humor when Uncle Dave sticks his finger in your ear and makes wet willy jokes. Maybe…It could happen…Some day.

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