Carry OnTuesday: Is there anybody there?

English: Memorial to William Huskisson Tilghma...

English: Memorial to William Huskisson Tilghman Huskisson, died 1865, grandson of Emily Huskisson’s sister Harriet Millbank, who married into the Tilghman family of Philadelphia, in Eartham parish church, West Sussex, England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Miranda wakes up in the middle of the night, sobbing. Her sister, Emily was in her dreams and she is confused when she wakes up. She sits upright and clutches the cheerful flowered comforter to her and cries out “Em, Em!” Her boyfriend is beside her and is gently shaking her shoulder and whispering soothing sounds. “it’s okay, baby, it’s okay” he says but she looks at him and whispers to him “is my sister Emily alive or is she dead?” and he responds softly, “Hon, I’m sorry, your sister, Emily, died a long time ago..” By then she is lucid and she remembers and she curls up, her head to her knees and shakes uncontrollably.

She knows logically her sister died years ago. Why is she still having these dreams, these nightmares? Is it that she just wishes it wasn’t this way? Just a few weeks ago her boyfriend was away on a business trip and she slept in their bedroom alone and she felt frightened at the sounds of their small, ranch house. It was raining and their house creaked and the wind pushed branches against their house, she thought that animals or maybe people had come inside. “Is there anybody there?” She asked in a childish voice, not realizing that if there were, they probably wouldn’t have said something like “Well, hey, yes, it’s me the burglar, my name is Roger.” She was frozen in place, clutching her pillow to her chest, breathing heavily and praying it was nothing. She stayed like that for an hour until the winds died down and she could fall asleep, drained from all the stress.

Her younger sister, Emily, had died of leukemia when she was a child. Emily was five when she died and Miranda was ten. Emily could not pronounce Miranda so she called her “panda” and that was her nickname for as long as she could remember. To this day, ten years later she still had night terrors almost every night. Nothing could soothe her, nothing could make the memories fade and she thought, like her parents, it would stay this way forever. Why would it change?

How do you explain the death of an innocent child? What reason can there be to take the life of a baby? A beautiful five-year old girl with big brown eyes and brown curly hair who had never done anything wrong. She deserved to live while some other brutal killer should have been taken. Miranda had anger in her still and didn’t know if it would ever dissipate. How could she make sense out of her baby sister’s death? How could anyone even dare try?

There were no answers, she finally came to that conclusion. She would never have an explanation or anything that made sense to her and her parents. Her life would go on without the love of her baby sister’s but her life could never be normal, because nothing made sense once her sister died. Nothing would ever make sense again.

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