It’s time to honor my sister. Yesterday was sibling day in the US and tomorrow is the day we lost her one year ago. The day my sister Kristi called me, and when I did not answer due to coaching my little juniors team in Milwaukee, I saw her name on the phone and knew she just wanted to talk so I let it ring while I was coaching the kids. So as my sisters always do they call my husband if anything is serious.
I remember exactly the moment, I had just gotten in my car. I was in the parking garage outside the Hilton in Milwaukee. I noticed my husband Kent had called a few times so I called him back. I don’t remember much of how he told me or what he said but I do remember him saying your sister Teri. I said, I remember specifically, I said…what are you talking about, Teri, what about Teri. He said Teri had died, my oldest sister Teri. I remember I kept saying….Teri, what are you talking about Teri. In my mind it could not be Teri. Maybe my mother, she was getting on and had a rough few years. But no he said Teri. I was literally pissed off, yes that is the word, I was so mad. I became very angry, I kept saying to him what the hell happened. I remember this, I was driving home, it takes about 30 minutes to get home from downtown and I remember saying over and over to him, what happened. He kept say I don’t know. I kept say it can’t be her. I knew something had to be wrong, I knew it was not possible to be her. She was tough, like a force of nature, like the first amazon women, but petite. She was the oldest. She was the strongest of all of us girls. The Rolf girls, there were five of us. Starting with Teri. Then Krisit, Viki, Paula and then myself the youngest. We were all a year a part. Five girls in a row and she was always the toughest. She couldn’t die.
I knew at that moment that it was over. That how I thought about things was once again altered. It was like when my niece died, my other sisters baby, she was two months old and died due to a undiagnosed staff infection. A horrid loss to my sister, her husband and our families. How this came about is a story that belongs with my sister. The experience she barely survived. The loss unrecoverable for a mother, for our families it had a devastating impact that has lasted to this day.
The staggering losses my sisters have suffered, all of us the loss of our father Keith, he was the one that fought to keep us all together, he died from cancer, one sister the loss of trust and love with her mother. Another the loss of her child, another the loss of her husband, for myself the loss of a beloved job, and now the loss of one of us. Each so very horrifying and heart breaking. Now Teri, her husband, her 23 year old daughter, the loss of their wife and mother. Her family. It was like nothing I can describe. Again it has changed the course of our lives.
This is a photo of my siblings, from left to right, my sisters Viki, Kristi, Teri, my brother Kurt, myself and my sister Paula. In this photo terrible loss had not come to visit with us yet. The crushing challenges would come shortly after this photo.
Teri with her husband Tim at her wedding, she is wearing my mothers dress, she is the most beautiful bride. The wedding took place at my mothers and fathers house.
What is important now is I just want to remember her. I think of her everyday, at the strangest times, and I want her to know I miss her, I want her to know that we all remember her and that I am sorry she had to go, I am sorry she felt she had to leave. She was a beautiful person.