Today would have been my sister, Barbara’s 72nd birthday. It is hard to believe she has been gone almost five years. Time is flying by.
When we bought our retirement home, we wanted a place that was reasonably close to all our family. Everyone, with the exception of our family in Florida, was within a 3 hour drive. I was excited to be close enough to my sister to drive over for the day and be back before evening fell. Little did I know I would have less than one year to spend with her.
BJ (her family nickname) was smart and an excellent writer. But her goals were closer to the heart. She never met a stranger and always opened her home to friends of her children that found themselves in difficult situations in their own homes. She was kind, but pulled no punches. If you wanted the truth, BJ was there to lay it all out on the table.
I have written here before about her affinity for taking the backroads. I lived so much of my life in a hurry and she was always there to try to get me to slow down. It wasn’t just me, though, she loved to get behind the wheel and take anyone who dared get in the car with her on an adventure.
I smile now thinking how she showed her grandchildren a ‘special place’ that was only revealed in certain times of the year. She could weave life with wonder and it was impossible to escape the magic.
She was there for my daughter during a particularly difficult time in her life when I could not be. I will be forever grateful for the capacity she had to care for and protect those people fortunate enough to be in her circle. Her heart was endless.
I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.
That was one of her favorite ways to end a conversation. I still have a few recordings of her voice on my old phone and also on my old answering machine. Even when her situation was so dire, she had a cheerfulness in her voice that made you feel like things would be okay.
More than a sister, she was the best friend you could ever want but not only to me. She had the ability to listen, laugh, advise, but most of all ‘just be’ when it was important to find your own way. If you were her friend, you were a friend for life.
We speak of her often, missing the fullness she brought to our lives. In this way she still lives. Her presence will always be felt in the hearts of those who loved her. We miss her presence in our lives. We are all a little afloat without her here to keep us grounded.
Happy birthday, Sis. 💜💜💜