Today would have been my sister’s 74th birthday. It never gets any easier realizing she is no longer here. We spoke on the phone almost every day, perhaps for only 5 minutes, but they were an important part of both our days.
My sister was warm and welcoming and never knew a stranger. She was outgoing – a polar opposite of of my introverted personality. She cherished laughter and hugs and family above all else. When I visited her, we sat on the front porch in her handmade rocking chairs – often without uttering a word. There was always a great comfort just being in her presence.
Today I would have called her, singing an out-of-tune “Happy Birthday” and we would have talked about her plans for the day. They would undoubtedly be filled with the hope of seeing her children and her grandchildren.
On her last birthday, she gave me a gift. A purple velvet plant. We both grew them in hanging pots when we lived together in Alaska. That little plant is now three. I do not have the green thumb she had, but keeping that plant alive is so very important to me.
Grieving is such a long and somewhat lonely process. Even though others provide comfort, the loss is singular. Each person has an individual relationship and the grieving is different for each of us. Beyond the grief, however, there is a peace that comes when we embrace our life and the living of that life knowing it is what they would want most for us.
Happy Birthday, Sis. I will never get over missing you.