You see, I lost someone very dear to me last week. It was very sudden and unexpected and I've been left with a whirlwind of emotions, memories, thoughts and regrets as I've gone about my daily activities.
I'm the only girl in my family. I was raised with brothers and all boy cousins. But I had a sister throughout my childhood. We may not have been related through blood. We may have lived under separate roofs and called different people Mom and Dad. But we were sisters none the less.
Her name was Kynstyl and she was my best friend. We were outsiders when we started school, a bit different than the other girls. We liked dirt, bugs, and playing flag football with the boys at recess. The only use for Polly Pockets was to hold the caterpillars we found and kept as pets.
We had many failed attempts of switching places. I'd take her Suns coat, she my 49ers, and our parents would take a different daughter home playing along. Oh, how we thought we were so sneaky.
An entire weekend was spent making hundreds of those paper frogs out of index cards, complete with a habitat for them to live.
As we grew older, there were countless swims in the canal, viewings of Monty Python, bonefires, camping trips and pointless drives around town. Talking, laughing, crying, playing The Remedy by Jason Mraz over and over until we could sing every word with perfection. Several sporting trips and bus rides.
She was loud and spirited. Feared nothing. Loved life and lived it to the fullest.
I was more quiet, reserved, grounded.
The perfect balance between us.
A day came when we came to an unfortunate fork in the road. We each chose a different path and unfortunately never looked back. I can't speak for her, but I know that through the several years that followed, there was never a day that I didn't think of her and wish to reach out to her.
But I never did. Always finding an excuse and thinking there was plenty of time to make amends.
I was wrong. There wasn't time and I'm left with regret and pain.
She is gone too soon. 26 is too young to die. Her children too young to be left without a mother and my heart is broken as I type this.
Kynstyl played such a vital role in my life. Nearly all of my school year memories are full of her - her laugh, abundant energy and even her evil glare that could give you chills. I am who I am, in part, because of her. As I have cried, and mourned her in the past week, I know that is the last thing she would want from any of us. So, life will go on, but she will never be forgotten.
I will get back to sharing my fitness successes (and failures) soon enough. But for today, I remember a lost sister, who will never be forgotten. Until we meet again, Kynst...