Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Sister - In Memory

 Today would have been my sister's birthday. It is hard to believe she would be a grandmother, a woman of years.  She was a great big sister. Sure we fought, but "out there in the big world" she was my protector. In our early adulthood, we would go on "adwentures" (yes we could be silly.) A road we had passed many times but never turned down, became a mystery to be explored. 
Here are several pictures of her. The little girl in the picture is her daughter.  That darling little girl now has babe of her own, my sister's grand children.  Today, as always, I miss my sister and her zest for life and "adwenture."

I hope I don't bore you,  but here is an essay I wrote about her.  It comes from the heart and so on a day to honor her life, I share it with you.

A Final Goodbye

I stood in the cemetery looking down at the headstone. The marker stated a name and two dates. The first date is not within my memory. The second date burns and pulls at the corners of my mind. This date, May twenty-ninth, 1983, is a day that I cannot forget. You see, this plot of ground is my sister's resting place, and today I visited here , alone, for the first time. As I visited this grave site, I came to feel sadness, to accept loss, and to appreciate the release of emotions.

 The cemetery was empty when I arrived. There was a solitary car standing guard near the office building. The wind was blowing slightly, as the storm sirens began to sound. My mind transformed the sirens into a funeral dirge that would not stop. I longed to sing that same sad tune if only to give voice to my sadness.

 My sadness was the result of a great loss. When my sister died I experienced the loss of three people. The first loss was obviously the loss of a beloved sister. Yet she was far more than the word sister can describe. In our younger years she had been my defender, and now I felt undeniably defenseless. Most of all, I had lost a friend. While I stood there, a sense of acceptance washed over me. Finally, I could accept the loss and still keep the warm sweet memories of her impish smile and loving manner.
Emotion had overwhelmed me, causing tears to run down my face. Feelings of grief, sorrow and loss were jumbled up carelessly among the feelings of love and devotion. Having been able to release these emotions, I resolved to never put my feelings in chains again. Now I will cherish the release of emotions.

 Still standing by the headstone, I looked down, one last time, before leaving. I saw the roses carved into the brass plate that stated only a name and two dates. I knew that she would not wish for me to be sad or lonely, but I knew also that she would embrace the release of emotions.

Goodbye my sweet sister.

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sarah c said...


Vicki W said...

It's lovely lovely that you do such beautiful remembrance posts for your sister.

Kathleen said...

A beautiful tribute.

Apple Avenue Quilts said...

Such a lovely remembrance. So sad your sister had to leave so early.

Beth said...

Wonderful way to remember your sister.

Barbara Arcement said...

A beautiful way to think of your sister. I know she is still your defender!
hugs to you

Jackie's Stitches said...

Sending you a hug, Gene. Your sister was a real beauty and your words leave no doubt that she was a fabulous and amazing person - just as pretty on the inside as she was on the outside.

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

What a wonderful tribute!! - And I agree with beebee - your sister will always be your defender - ;))

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Beauty in language memorializes a truly loved one. Sisters are the most precious of all people and you have given us a glimpse into your beloved sibling, gone way way too soon. My heart reaches out to touch yours in solidarity.

IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

What wonderful pictures....each of them made me smile. Then to know you have lost her....physically, I'm so sorry Gene. I know what a loving and sensitive man you are and I wish I could give you a warm hug.

I once thought the tattoo Cancer Sucks was understandable on a gal I I want one that reads Grief Sucks. A temporary tattoo of course.

Sending you love, understanding and are good to keep her memory alive :)


Elaine said...

Eternity seems like a concept not fully embraced until we lose someone we love and then it becomes the most precious reality. We are here for such a short time and then there forever and your sister is waiting for you. What a lovely tribute to her.

Barbara said...

Simply lovely.

Barb said...

First I have to say I am very very sorry, your loss is so tremendous. second, you are a fabulous writer, I could see you in my minds eye at the grave and feel the strong emotions. I know you have a strength most people do not have to carry on. You are a wonderful uncle and I am sure you were a wonderful brother as well. She was lucky to have you as well as you her. Sweet memories.

Jennifer Gail said...

Very nice tribute Gene.