I stood in Catie's room trying to figure out where to begin cleaning. For whatever reason, I started with the shower. I moved all of the toys and small furniture that were in front of it, and pulled the shower curtain back. I quickly realized that this shower had not been touched for close to a year. Her shower chair sat in the center of the shower floor, her shampoo bottles still sitting on the chair. They were half full, never to be emptied. I took a deep breath that felt more shallow than anything, I grabbed all of the shampoo, and quickly walked outside to the trash can. I threw the shampoo bottles into the garbage can as hard as I possible could. I was angry. I stormed back into the house and pulled the shower chair out and wheeled it into the garage. After soaking the shower wall and floor in cleaner, I found myself starring into the suds all around the empty shower. I could clearly see a memory of Catie in my mind.
I was supposed to shower her and she was angry with me for it. She did not enjoy her showers and some days she was just plain mean about it. I had helped her slowly walk over to the shower and step over the lip of the basin. She sat down in her chair pouting.
"put your head back.."
"kellyyyy." she'd say in a deep voice.
I grew irritated with the chore. It was a lot of work, I was always sweating and wet from the shower sprayer when I was done. Her lack of interest made it even harder because her arms weren't dead weight, instead, she was holding them down with all of her strength, and at this time, she had a lot of it left. I continued bathing her, speaking shortly to her while she continued to glare in my direction as fiercely as possible.
"hey kel!" she said in a very mischievous voice.
She sat up straight in her shower chair, lifted her arms and began flapping her chest up into the air quickly.
"YA DON'T GOT THESE!"
It was just like that, that my blind sister who was completely dependent on my help not only used my help but abused it. What, a, burn! She was right. I didn't have those and I never have. She was always uh, blessed you could say, in a way I never was or will be. She knew it and didn't even have to see proof. I never heard the end of it either. Even when she couldn't speak any longer, my mom would shout across the room for her,
"Hey Kelly, don't forget! Ya don't got these!!" she'd say.
Catie would erupt with laughter. She never grew tired of laughing about it.
"hey ma, what dat nassy smell?" Joey asked.
I realized the cleaner wasn't sudsy anymore and I needed to get scrubbing so I could rinse it out asap. I started on the tiles and worked my way down to the floor. I was scrubbing quickly, still angry at the situation. Then, I saw it.
Her short black hairs were resting on the shower drain. Real, soft hairs. At first I jumped back. It scared me and I'm not sure why. I felt nauseated because my sister is dead but her hair was sitting in front of me. Then I realized that its been here for a year. Untouched. I reached out, grabbed it and began to sob. Not cry, but sob. This wasn't her favorite toy, or piece of jewelry. It wasn't an article of clothing or a favorite movie. This was physically a part of my sister and I was holding it in my hand. The last time I felt my sisters soft hair in my hands was 346 days ago. She was cold and white. I held her hand in one of mine and with the other I stroked my fingers through her hair one last time while saying good bye to her before I left the hospital room.
What I would give to wash her hair one more time. I miss her more than ever.