Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Sister

That the sky would lift
That I'd find my place
That I'd see your face in the door
And the sun would glint
On a time well spent
On a time that ain't no more

David Gray

Slow Motion

I don't know how to start this other then I miss you. It has been a little over a year since you have been gone. I try not to bring back memories but I am now because I have a place to be myself and to share.

I remember the time you were "babysitting" me and our two younger sisters, We were sitting on the couch and you kept shoving powdered donuts in my mouth to keep me awake. Lol!

And the many times that Dad would have us order a pizza from the "Black family" (that was their last name). They made pizza's from their home in a special oven and we of course were in the middle of nowhere so that's all we had. Dad would fall asleep and we would have to ride the bike 3 blocks to pick up the pizza. No small feat since we had to ride the last block uphill, me on the handle bars, you peddling, and wow, what a fun trip going downhill home, me trying to balance the pizza, you trying to maneuver the brakes!

Fast forward. I lived in a studio apartment in Lincoln Park. After I had my fill of living alone and trying my best to dress like Madonna, (it was the eighties after all!) I came to your house crying my eyes out over a guy who had totally done me wrong. You let me in, made us some tea and you sat listening to me pour out my heart. It was 2:00 a.m. and you had to be at work in the morning, but you comforted me. I will never forget that night.

You were always ahead of the game. I think you did shabby chic before Rachel Ashwell even wrote a book. You scouted antique shops, your home was was a mix of old and new and you loved pictures and paintings of pastel flowers. And what a gardener you were. Your favorite colors were pink and blue. Your flowers thrived as did you, you were always brown as a berry just from your gardening

You had a dry sense of humor, always coming in at the end of something someone would say and we would laugh our butts off. You were a little shy but you had plenty to say, you were just so damn funny.

Just around fall last year you went to the hospital for just a minor problem. 8 hours later you were diagnosed with cancer of the brain, spine, liver and lungs. The picture above, that I keep on my nightstand was taken just 2 weeks before, when you went pumpkin picking in the country. As your daughter would say later; " The woman could not take a bad picture".

Who would know that this was the beginning of the end? How can you pray for a miracle when the odds are so against you? My most heart wrenching moment came when I heard that you asked your doctor, "What will it feel like when I die?"

Just after last Thanksgiving, 2007, I got the call that you were gone. You have never seen Janie move so fast. Out the door, a 45 minute drive done in 20, I met the paramedics as they were coming up the sidewalk and they let me through solemnly. You were propped up in a hospital bed in her living room, looking like you were taking a rest. I held your tiny hands, still warm, cradled your head, your body, wanting never to let go.

How do we deal with loss like this? I watched my mother in her last hours. my mother in law also. I fed my mother through a tube in her stomach and read to her hours at a time when her eyesight failed. My mother inlaw, someone I so worried about accepting me 15 years ago, was also someone I loved so much and had to let go of.

I don't know how to end this. I just wanted it to be an outlet, which is why I started this blog. I don't care who is out there listening right now, I just want everybody, anyone, to know how special you were to me. Losing a sister is like like losing a limb. You go on, but it is so much harder.

I love all of you that visit my blog and I know we are here to lift each others spirits. But I know in my heart we are a sisterhood and I hope that I will be an example that we don't need to hold back on the realities of life.

I so wish everyone a magical and wonderful Christmas. May God bless you and yours and thank you so much for letting me let Leslie's light shine on in spite of a life taken too soon. Don't pity me, she would rejoice in the fact that I have found a place to open up.

oxox

Janie

7 comments:

Kathleen Grace said...

Hi blondie it is so nice to meet you. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my sister to cancer 6 years ago. I understand how hard it is. It takes a while, a long while, but the hurt lessens eventually. My prayers are with you.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Blondie,
I lost my dear sweet mother to brain cancer when I was almost 6 years old. The hole in my heart has never gone away, but I am so thankful for the beautiful memories. It sounds as if your sister was a wonderful delight and will no doubt be one of the first in line to greet you when you arrive to spend eternity together.

Steve Ballmer said...

Merry just a little after Christmas!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Janie, what a lovely tribute! She would be so proud!

XO,

Sheila

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Oh...now you have a blog post that is making me all weepy (and thank you for your sweet comment on mine). It's so hard to watch someone you love go so, so quickly. Crazy to think that beautiful portrait was taken two weeks before her diagnosis. And I agree - "You go on, but it is so much harder." So much harder, some days.

What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman, from a beautiful woman.

JudyBug said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I do understand missing that person so much. I feel the same way about my mother and my grandmother. Some days, it's just overwhelming and some days...I can remember and just laugh out loud over something.

You are in my prayers.

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