Monday, April 16, 2012

Daily Reminder # 639

My older sister, Carole, would have been 75 years old today. It seems impossible that she has been gone for 23 years now. Next year the boy who stabbed her to death comes up for parole. I wish I thought prison has somehow healed his heart, but I kind of doubt it. I'm not sure if there's a way to find out. I used to have his prisoner number and would keep tabs on him, but as my own life got chaotic, I lost track of those things. I feel kind of guilty. What kind of younger sister am I to not keep tabs on such a thing?  Silly question, I know. 

Carole was such a wonderful person, such a dream of a big sister. She was, in many ways, the mother my Mom was not capable of being. She encouraged me. She praised me. She loved me without qualifications or judgments. He children are living, breathing testimonials to her gift for love and for parenting. They are awesome. Kind, intelligent, creative. Funny. She loved coffee. Was addicted to it, in fact. She loved ideas. She loved politics. She loved to travel.  She loved high heels and slinky dresses that my mother didn't approve of.  She loved skiing and dancing.  She met her husband at a singles group on a ski trip or a dance. I forget which, really. She loved music: Introduced me to the music of Harry Belafonte, Odetta, the Weavers, Joan Baez and a host of others. When I was little (she was10 years older) she would sometimes read to me at bed time. She gave one of the first books I really remember. It was by Margurite Henry and it was called KING OF THE WIND. It was about  an Arabian Stallion. It was the first of many of Ms. Henry's books that I read. I still remember lines from some of them. For KING OF THE WIND, the passage I most loved was: (Sham, by the way was the horse's name.) "My name is Agba, Sham. Ba means father. And I will be a father to you, Sham. And one day I will lead you before the multitudes and they will bow before you and you will be called the King of the Wind." That may not be the exact wording, but it's pretty close. I even added a chapter to MISTY OF CHINCOTEAGUE  for a New York Times contest and was a runner up. Got to go to the big city with for the awards ceremony.  But I digresss.

Carole read my poetry and stories and believed I could be published. She encouraged my creativity. She liked me. And she loved me. How could I ask for more? 

Her first car was a little Rambler that she let me drive when I was learning (the first time in my teens). Loved that car. So much better to drive than my parents Buick. When I was a sophomore in college, my big sister took me on a three week trip to Europe which she paid for. How many big sisters would do that? We had a great time. Her husband (to be) send her a dozen yellow roses when we were in Amsterdam (where at the time anyway, they told us that the only pedestrians were the quick and the dead). We were in the tiniest room you could imagine on the top floor of a canal house with a leaking skylight.. There was barely room for the two of us. It was splendid.

I had a piano teacher in my teens who thought my sister was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. He fell in love with her "bedroom eyes."  When I was young and had a habit of the grammatical fault of saying "me and,"  my sister would pretend to cry and say "You called me mean." She became (not sure why SHE got the title, but...) known as The Mean Queen. She wore hats. I loved her hats. She had one dark blue straw hat that was my favorite. She shaved and plucked her eyebrows. I wanted to be like her. She was smart and kind and passionate about ideas and politics and music and books and her children. 

I know I'm rambling, that there is no order or system to this post. I miss my sister. She left three awesome children behind. I see and hear her in them. She is in the best and healthiest parts of my psyche. She was probably the one sane person in my family. She was a beautiful soul and I'm so glad to have had her in my life. She's in my heart and in my memory and in her children and grand children. But I also miss her. I loved her. And she - go figure - loved me. Being loved is a hard thing to lose.

Some things I'm grateful for today: (Items in red are pre-gratitude, an effort embrace and invoke abundance in my life.)
  • the gift of my sister's life even if it was too short
  • happy memories
  • Angel and Tara Grace
  • my nieces, my nephew and their families
  • that they are happy, healthy and successful
  • that they seem to love me as I love them
  • my friends
  • my neighbors
  • my home
  • Dr. Jim
  • the telephone
  • open windows (it's 80 degrees today!)
  • my ceiling fan
  • my computer
  • the internet
  • email
  • this blog
  • old photographs
  • my little coffee maker
  • coffee and International Delight
  • my TV
  • the remote control
  • the mute button
  • music
  • Pandora radio
  • the awesome Bose speakers my niece gave me
  • the joy of listening
  • the joy of singing
  • the sound of the human voice
  • the boom box by my bed
  • my grabber
  • my chair/walker
  • my cane
  • that my legs still wobble me around with help
  • abundant water for bathing and drinking
  • my kitchen
  • my microwave
  • granola bars
  • sight
  • taste
  • touch
  • smell
  • hearing
  • the colors of the rainbow
  • beauty
  • reiki
  • miracles
  • angels
  • Dennis Puffett
  • Healing with the Masters
  • electricity
  • my Tibetan salt lamps
  • my rock collection
  • a clothes dryer
  • more flowers/landscaping for my back yard
  • a truckload of money (big bills)
  • $5,000/week for life from PCH or a million a year. Either would be splendid
  • winning lottery numbers
  • company/companionship
  • a mattress for the guest bedroom
  • new curtains
  • blinds for the front window
  • a whistling vessel gathering
  • a party/gathering for my 65th birthday in July
  • paying reiki clients 
  • freshly painted living and bedroom walls
  • a paid off mortgage
  • zero balance on my credit cards
  • lower interest rates
  • a reading and healing with Nancy DuTertre
  • a ceiling fan in the bedroom
  • Nintendo
  • a new (Dutch) front door
  • a sun room on the back of the house
  • seeing the red list turn to black
  • paper towels
  • indoor plumbing
  • the view from my front window
  • my back yard
  • my camera
  • the ability to read and write
  • the ability to type
  • the ability to think
  • resilience
  • determination
  • my body
  • breath
  • the beauty and wonders of the world
  • butterflies and birds and squirrels
  • forsythia
  • flowering quince
  • daffodils
  • a soft breeze
  • my mattress
  • words
  • poetry
  • literature
  • Crocs
  • my grabber
  • the smell of white sage
  • peppermint
  • allspice
  • lavender
  • Sam-e
  • Omega-e
  • IP-6
  • Vitamin D-3
  • imagination
  • ideas
  • inspiration
  • hope
  • possibilities
  • laughter
  • love
  • life

Wishing You Someone Like My Sister


Cindy said...


I love you!

The Bug said...

I wish I could go up (over?) there & give you a real life hug - but here is a virtual one from me anyway: {{{Katherine}}}

Raven said...

Thanks Cindy! I love you too!

Thanks for the hug, Bug. It is received and appreciated.

Diana said...

Random memories are truly my favorite way to hear stories about people. It's always the little details that are the most interesting and tell you the most about a person. Thanks for sharing the memories and the photos. I really enjoyed this post. Made me smile.

Argent said...

Your love for your sister (and hers for you) really shines through this post. Alway remember that you ARE loveable and deserving of love - Carole thought so, and so do we.