The Fall of Camelot…est. 1978

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Monday, February 21, 2011, was to be simply another bright and brisk morning that began with no signs nor warning of the destruction that was on a collision course aimed at all I ever knew.

No alarm bells sounding to alert me of the unthinkable that was to become my forever truth… that lie in wait.

At times, I often wonder lost in reflection of those early days, how? How is it possible that a day seemingly as ordinary as any other, can transform itself into the day that stops time?

How can so much pain be inflicted by a single unwanted and undeserving minute ? Giving the next fourteen hundred and thirty-nine minutes the power to sear an unwanted fate?

For once death had my brother in its sights, and Joe and his life began to slip away into darkness so did mine. As he was letting go of living with his unnoticed and increasingly labored gasps. Death simultaneously began scribbling erratically upon my life.  It used an ink laced with agony, torment and tragedy and stained the pages of my history, for never can they be erased.

An ordinary Monday became infamously the day that changed me forever and cast me into a role I never wanted to play. A sister without her brother, her life’s witness and constant companion, trapped now perpetually between tears and pain.

I grew up with my family intact while so many of my friend’s parents had divorced. I had always known I was loved and in turn I truly loved my parents. My two brothers and I grew up the best of friends and although I know better, our childhood seemed almost enchanted.

We had a wonderful home, which provided a foundation of love and laughter, one others seemed to envy. However, we saw ourselves as an ordinary family with an ordinary and most common life.  Yet, having been the one who lived it and lost it, I assure anyone of this, what made it magical was the two young boys I shared it with. For we lived and laughed together in a life untouched by hardship, oblivious to sadness and ignorantly unaware of loss.

In those days life was a pond smooth and stagnant, and flawless as that of glass. Until without warning and in an instant boring and normal were gone. The day had come without reason or warning. The day in which the universe cruelly tossed a stone, haphazardly landing in our quite pond and destroying the gift of it stillness forever.

A gift I never fully had time to feel, to cherish, to be grateful for, and its absence has left me treading water and drowning daily in its unforgiving relentless wake.

The continual disruption comes and goes in waves. Ring after ring rippling outwardly from the first moment of impact  and shakes my soul to its core and alters me and carries me slightly further. Further, from what once was and all that now will never be.

For the shore, I long to reach, allowing me to emerge from the sea of my despair and return “home” no longer exists. There is no map, no directions in which will ever lead me to finding my way back.

Imagine a snow globe and what is within can be described as perfectly imperfect. Our family’s Camelot. However, for the past two years, six months, and nineteen days the ground has not stopped shaking in my upside down world. The snow continues to flurry and fall without any signs of stopping, concealing our Camelot not only from the outside but from inside as well.

Snowflakes like daggers chip away at my heart, flashbacks of our life together. Who were we when we woke all under the same roof to each new sunrise and the limitless possibilities that were ours for the taking?  Longing to scream through the thick and tempered glass, yet my voice won’t carry, and the people living their Camelot, the one we once were, have no way of knowing that each morning we all woke up together, we had more than anything we will ever know again.

I can no longer remember the way I felt when I was the young girl playing with the little blonde haired boy, connected to him at the hip. For those children live now only within memories. Memories that no longer feel like mine. I play them over and over and yet try as I may I fear I have lost my connection to past, severed by the truth of my present.

I become ill when I admit the ease in which I was able to take that life for granted . How could I have ever known that boring and normal were anything and everything, I would one day spend my eternity now wishing for.

Why did we not drift off to dream under each starry night sky deliriously grateful for the absolute perfection of that quiet house?  Why were we not more aware of the love we shared, built intricately upon and around each of us? The foundation of all we ever knew sleeping peacefully, tucked within the four bedrooms of our home. When the life I was naive enough to take for granted was mine.

I panicked in the days immediately following the death of my brother. Living in a perpetual state of heart-wrenching panic. For my life and my family had become unrecognizable. The only certainty was the continually snow storm that showed no sign of letting up, distorting the view of our Camelot. A storm I feared would never stop and the beauty of our life would never be clearly seen again.

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