My Sister, My Best Friend
by Cheryl Perrote
My sister Dawn on the left and me on the right , this was taken in our youth. She was 49 when she passed, and I am 46.
Feb 2nd ,2013 is when we collectively talked as a family only to discover that none of us had heard from Dawn Marie. She had just been out to our house on the weekend of Jan 11th for her birthday. She stayed a few extra days to visit, those days I will always treasure, to have that extra time to visit and have our morning coffee and giggles. I always pinched her big toe when she stayed over to wake her for coffee, so as not to scare her. She was my big sister and my best friend, we grew up together and shared all the things sisters do. We had our fights and sometimes didn't speak for a time, but always our love for one another out weighed what ever it was that caused us to not talk. I will be for ever grateful that we were able to be the best of friends before she passed. On this day we, my fiancee and daughter were going to pick his sister up for a visit, but when know one had heard from my sister, we changed directions to go to Milwaukee to check on her. Her Daughter was closer than we were, so she was the first to arrive at her home, when she arrived and discovered her mail box overflowing with mail and packages at her front door, we knew something was very wrong. She notified my father that the TV inside was blaring and her Van was locked and parked outside. This was very unlike her, as she occasionally had problems with the neighbors kids stealing packages from her, so she was always very aware of her deliveries. At any rate, while we drove to the city, my mind was racing in the hopes that we would arrive to find her inside having been in the shower or something and then we would have a good chuckle about the police having broken her door down to check on her. I looked at my fiancee and stated " well know one has called yet" "Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?" He replied " I don't know". we were approximately 4 to 5 blocks from her home, when my phone rang, I was reluctant to answer it, but did. It was my father on the other end, he said " You have to be strong now, your sister has been found dead inside her apartment" That's when I completely lost it. I didn't recognize the sound that escaped me. My fiancee and daughter didn't even need to be told what happened, they already knew because I started to cry uncontrollably. I almost jumped out of the truck just to get to her as we arrived. There were police cars and the fire dept. there already. I didn't even notice at first my poor niece standing next to her vehicle, I just ran past her to get to my sisters door only to be met by the Police lodging it closed so I couldn't gain entry. I already knew that she was gone, as I could smell death at the door. My only thought at the time was NO! this can't be happening, finally I saw my niece.She looked so incredibly small (she is 27) to me. She was shivering uncontrollably, we immediately placed her in our truck with the heater on high. It was sub zero weather out this day. They surmised that she had been gone at least a week or longer. And I kept playing over and over again the message I had sent her the day before, only to get no reply. I just said I love you, hope school is going well, and you a warm and healthy. I hated myself for sending that stupid text. Warm and healthy, what the hell? I miss her every day and probably always will. One of our last conversations was about us setting up a little stand this summer at the farmers market, we had just recently moved and I couldn't wait to set my house up for the summer, for my big sister to come and enjoy summer nights visiting by the fire and go on hikes out by the Marsh. One of the last things she ever said to me was "Its gonna be great" I have so many mixed feelings about that statement, like what do you mean its gonna be great? Like no its not ever gonna be great again! Because I will always be alone, I will never have any one like you ever again. I feel so alone now, I have other sisters whom I love and cherish, but now I am the oldest, and feel so lost with out her.