Life Colour

Three weeks ago the big sis asked if I could help her choose a colour for her dining room ceiling. There’s nothing sweeter for me than being asked for a colour consult. My heaven. So I dragged books and magazines and colour swatches over to her amazing Victorian home that I refer to as the manor. I always ask if I can come through. We’re talking Downton Abbey graciousness.

After chasing around a variety of colours including a deeply rich burnt orange, we decided on a shiny haint blue. She then raided my wardrobe (as usual) and headed off with her first born for a few days in the Turks and Caicos. She thought she might be getting a cold the morning she left, but said she felt great when she arrived. She texted me photos of the ocean. A glorious perfect sea glass turquoise. I was jealous.

She came home looking rested and healthy and happy to have spent time with her girl. A few days later she developed a sore throat and twenty four hours later she was in critical care on a breathing tube fighting some rare bacterial infection. A bright blue breathing tube. I’d watched my brother die twenty years ago with the same tube down his throat. Not a good day.

Fucking blue.

And then a viral infection. We were required to gown and mask up before entering. Our masks were the colour of a bright July sky at noon. The latex gloves? The colour of late day. Her fever spiked and fell and spiked again. For a week we held a bedside watch. She was pumped full of more shit than I care to remember. She hallucinated. And trust me, none of those visions involved a beach. I made pacts with a god I didn’t really have much faith in.

We haven't always agreed as sisters. I'm the yin and she's the yang. She's the big sister. I'm the wild card and generally the fuck up. Ive always thought she was a super human. And it turns out that she is. She didn't die. She fought. She fought even when she kept writing me notes begging me to let her quit. Not a freaking chance.

She’s home now and a bit like a new born baby. She’s traumatized and needing feeding in the middle of the night. Her hubby is a saint. She can’t do stairs without help. But she’s alive. We're going to choose a book I can read aloud to her over the next few weeks and then someday soon we'll paint the damn ceiling. Which means I'm super human too.

And Blue? I forgive you. In fact I thank you. Ill be coming to get you soon.


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