It was the summer of 2008. Our grandparents had been living in Florida during this time. Grandpa had emphysema, lung cancer, and had been blind those last few years. Around April/May he became very sick and on July 13th passed away. Most of the family (aunts, uncles, cousins) traveled to Florida for a small memorial service.
The day before the service everyone was busy. Grandma is a clean freak! We have an on going joke.. her house is so clean you could eat off Grandma's floors. So, because there was no way Grandma was going to let anyone in her home being dirty, some were cleaning. Some were cooking. Some were preparing personal writings to read at the memorial service. Everyone, except my sister.
My sister had been so worried about what she was going to wear at the memorial service, she insisted on having a new pair of black pants. Of course, she wanted Mom's credit card to go shopping. Mom told her just to go shopping, pick something out, put it on hold, and she would go back later to pay for it. An hour later.. Mom's phone rang.. her daughter was picked up for shoplifting.
Grandma, who just lost her husband a few days before, paid the bond.. $500! Than Mom, her sisters / my two aunts, and myself sat outside a Florida jail waiting for my sister to be released. Finally, after 12 hours passing, watching many others walking out of the jail, my sister is released. She walks out with a pissed off "how dare they" look. The ride back to Grandma's was complete silence.
That night it was pretty quiet. My sister stuck to herself. I'm sure she was embarrassed, but that is just observation. The next day was Grandpa's memorial service and than back to the house for food and drinks. Some of Grandma and Grandpa's friends were there, so everything from the day before was kept quiet.
Now.. the next day was anything, but quiet.
Mom and I decided to take a walk around the community and just get away from the stress for a little while. My sister was not allowed to leave the state, due to she had to appear in court the following week for her shoplifting charges. When we returned one of my aunts came charging at us. (She is a lawyer, must be in control, fix everything kind of person.) She was pointing at me saying "We talked it over and decided you will stay with her, take her to court, and than bring her home! Your Mom can ride back with one of us."
Um.. Ok.. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5.. that wasn't working. I lost it! (I should have controlled myself better. Looking back I do regret that, but not that I stood up for myself. I usually just do what I'm told.)
I am an adult and deserve to be treated and spoken to like one. She could have ASKED me to stay instead of TELLING me I HAD to stay. Plus, didn't they think Mom, my sister, and I could figure things out on our own? No, I guess not, we needed everyone to be in control and fix everything for us.. that is how our family works. Mom had to return to work and I was starting a nursing class, so I'm sorry that my sister chose to shoplift, now she can live with the consequences. My sister had shoplift! The day before Grandpa's memorial service! I think everyone forgot that, because everyone was yelling at me for "not being supportive", "not being there for my sister", and so on. Oh, and also, for lying about my nursing class, which I had not. But what were they telling her "We all make mistakes", "We all do stupid things when we are young".
The confrontation between my aunt and I turned into a HUGE family fight, causing us (Mom, my sister, and I) to get in our car and drive 12 hours back home. Before we left I heard my Grandma in her bedroom crying. I felt my heart break, I never heard her cry before.
I ended up driving my sister back down to Florida and going to court with her. She was given community service and had to pay some fees. We had a very short visit with Grandma and than drove another 12 hours back home. -The car ride is another story.
Looking back, I believe this was a missed sign and even though not directly drug related, this is where our journey with my sister's addiction began. No one could predict what the future would bring.