She was always slender, with an easy grace to her movements. I try to remember her as she was in her better days, before the Parkinson’s robbed her face of its smile and her body of its ability to move at all. We didn’t grow up together, but when I was told she was indeed my half-sister, I immediately accepted her with my whole heart. After all, she was part of my mother, and how could I not love that?
Eventually, she and I learned that she had a full sister and I knew that if I could find that long lost sister for Barb, she would know how much I loved her. I searched diligently for three years, but our sister found me, not the other way around.
I was ecstatic when I received that first call from Nancy. A lot of family reunions don’t fare as well as ours did. We shared so much with our newly found sister. Nancy and Barb had physical similarities and Nancy and I had hobbies and the metaphysical of life to share. We were all blessed. Nancy helped document our ancestry back to the 1200’s–a feat I am still in awe of today. The only bad thing was that Nancy lived clear across the country in Florida–too far for regular visits, but we put some time in on the phone on a regular basis.
Sadly, we only had Nancy in our lives for 12 years before she passed away suddenly from heart failure. Here one day and gone the next. Shocked and saddened, I took her death very hard. I felt cheated that her presence could be given to me and then taken away so easily.
And now I face the fact that Barb is no longer here with me. Barb passed two days after our cousin, Dossie passed away from lung cancer. Barb and Dossie had been virtually raised together as sisters and it was almost fitting that they should die close to one another. That said, I was shocked to learn that Dossie had been terminally ill. It doesn’t say a lot for the family communications. Yet, our family isn’t any different from many others–dysfunctional and non-communicative. I’ve tried to build my own family on unconditional love and support.
I’ve been going through the motions this past week; unable to write, unable to put into words my feelings of sorrow. I have one sister left to me and I’m not speaking to her. She betrayed a trust and that’s a hard thing to forgive, much less forget. Maybe time will heal the rift in our relationship. I don’t know.
Be gentle with yourself, be safe, be well, and be happy. Tell those you love that you love them. Often…