My sister in 2005, watching while our daughters play in the slip and slide.
For the Ragtag Daily Post: past.
This is my sister and me in early 2012. She died on March 29, 2018, from breast cancer. She was 49.
For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: copyright.
This is my sister being a goofball on Christmas morning in 2010. The puppet was a family gift that we all played with. The Christmas hat is mine. This was after her cancer recurred: she died in March of 2012.
After she died, the people who write on everything2 were notified that another blogger had stolen multiple write ups and posted them on a blog as their own writing. That is a violation of copyright. And it feels particularly painful when it is my sister’s writing, who is dead at 49 from cancer. I do not think nice thoughts about the thief and I hope that the person regrets and makes penance for what they did. Hundreds of write ups were stolen from all sorts of people.
That is what the word copyright brings up. Don’t steal. Don’t steal my work or photographs or my sister’s or anyone else’s….
This is one of the most beautiful and saddest photographs I have taken. It is my sister, about a month before she died of cancer. And her daughter, who was 13.
On the last visit to my sister, she was in kidney failure, dying. We had conversations that were surreal. All I wanted was to stay with her.
One day a friend of hers, another mother and I, were working to make her more comfortable.
“I am sad!” my sister said, and started crying.
“Why are you sad?” I said, “What are you sad about?”
“I won’t be there! I won’t be there when she graduates from high school! I won’t be there for her first date! I won’t be there when she gets married! I don’t want to die!”
By now we are all crying. “You will be there!” I say. I am certain. “You won’t be in this form. You will be in another form!”
“I will?” my sister said, crying.
“Yes.” I said, crying too. “You have to go. You have to transform. You can’t stay. But you will be there for her.”
We cried and held her.
And I know for certain that she is there, she is here, she is with her daughter as her daughter graduates from high school, goes on a date, does all the things that daughters do.
Now and forever.
And the living children must be returned to the living parents. We cannot do otherwise and call ourselves humans.
A picture of me and my sister in early 2012, about 6 weeks before she died.
Some days are about longing.
There is a door, so I submit this to Norm2.0 Thursday Doors.
There is more than one list of seven virtues. Courage, or bravery, goes back to Aristotle and Plato as one of the four cardinal virtues.
What is bravery to you? An extreme sport? A warrior?
My sister endured cancer treatment for 7 years, over 30 rounds of chemotherapy. She said, “People say I am brave, but they don’t understand. I don’t have a choice. It’s do the therapy or die.” It’s still brave, though, isn’t it.
The person who comes to my mind for bravery is a woman, a long time ago. She spoke Spanish and we had a translator. Her son had had rheumatic fever and they had gone to the pediatric cardiologist for the yearly visit. Her son had a damaged heart valve that was getting worse. He was somewhere between 9 and 12.
“The heart doctor says he needs surgery. He needs the valve replaced. But the heart doctor said he could die in surgery.” she said.
I read the notes and the heart ultrasound. “The heart valve is leaking more and more. If he doesn’t have the surgery it will damage his heart. He will be able to do less and less and then he will die. If he has the surgery, there is a small chance that he will die. But if he doesn’t, he will be able to grow and to run and to be active.”
She said, “I am so afraid.” But she returned to the pediatric cardiologist. And he got through the valve replacement surgery and did fine.
That is courage to me. The parents who take chances for their children: get into boats to escape war. Search for treatments. Fight for their home, their children, their loved ones. It is both men and women, mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, and people who have no blood relation to a child that they reach out to help. Adoption, volunteering in schools, supporting a student, supporting an organization that helps children grow and thrive.
When Beth is dying in Little Women, she says that it is like the tide going out….. sometimes I miss my sister so much. I am trying to make sense of the third stage, the stage after mother. With my daughter in college, I am living alone for the first time in 28 years. And I don’t have my sister or my mother or my grandmother to accompany me.
I took the title from one of my sister’s essays: An early promotion to crone. Here: http://e2grundoon.blogspot.com/2007/08/early-promotion-to-crone.html
I want to discuss my sister’s essay with her …. I can’t, except in dreams.
mother, maiden and crone
small child in my heart
baby cuddled warm
safe and loved
small girl dancing
sing run shout
woman seen and heard
woman silenced dressed undressed
woman learning searching writing
woman held and loved
woman gravid bearing carrying
woman feeding raising nurturing
crone quiet watching
white haired dismissed old
unseen unknown ignored
laughing playing dancing
sing run shout