Monday, September 18, 2017

Gone-But Never Forgotten

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."

Charlotte and Gene - after a hailstorm
She is holding hailstones in her cupped hands
Let me share an essay I wrote about her.  I wrote this for an English class. Still 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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Debbie said...

A most touching tribute to her. Well said. And an angel hug from her.

diane said...

Thanks for sharing your world with us. A beautiful sister and wonderful memories.

Barbara said...

I see the familial resemblance, Gene. At least a part of her lives on in you.

Sandi Linn Andersen said...

Such beautiful thoughts you have shared about your sister. When I saw her photo, I was caught by how much the two of you look like each other. Which is, of course, because you are brother and sister but that's not always the case. I have a younger brother and a younger sister. I can relate to the adventures, especially with my brother. My own children are a daughter with a younger brother and they are still having an adventure and they are both in their 40's. Your post surely shows how much you and your sister cared for one another and would have also still been having adventures together. I suspect she has been near to you many times in the years since she passed. Thanks for sharing, Gene.

Joyce Carter said...

Gene, that is such a beautiful memorial to your sister. Your words brought tears to my eyes. I appreciate you sharing your feelings with us.
I grew up with older brothers and sisters who have passed on and I remember so many adventures we had.(Some of them we never spoke about. LOL) We had some great times growing up. I miss them very much.
She does look a lot like you.

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

Oh, Gene - you made me cry! What a wonderful remembrance of your sister - defender - and friend. She will be with you always - in your heart and in your memories - ;))

Barb said...

I know it is so hard and she is lucky to have you carry on her memory

allthingzsewn said...

A touching Memorial, I'm glad you had her even for a short while. As I have never had siblings I can't truly identify with you, thou sometimes I do feel a type of lonesomeness I can't quit reason.

Jeanna said...

Beautiful words. Sending big hugs your way, Gene.

Jennifer said...

hey gene It's me I'm like the flu I just keep coming back.thanks for sharing

Rhonda said...

I don't know how I missed this post. What a beautiful memorial. I lost my brother in 89'. I'm the older sister, the protector. Your words really touched me. Thank your for sharing my friend!!!