Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Laura was my oldest sister. There were six years between us and I think we clicked. When she was in high school, I was her "secretary" and would call her friends to see if they'd want to get together. When I was in college, I visited her most weekends when I didn't go home and then student taught across the street from where they lived so I lived with her and her little family. We had some fun times. I was able to spend a lot of time with my nephew when he was just a little bitty boy... (Now he's all married and grown up.)  

She and I did a couple of bike rides to raise money for the American Lung Association when I was teaching in Atlanta.  I traveled with her some when she'd go visit her daughters in San Francisco.

She was easy to be around. Funny. Fun. No pretense. What you saw was what you got with her.  She was creative. She loved her family deeply. She was easy to talk to. And I talked to her a lot -- especially after Mama died and while Laura was fighting her various types of cancer.

I last saw her one week before she died in April. We had no clue she was so close to the end, so I am especially grateful that she came to stay with us at the beach for our spring break.

I've told some people that when I want to talk to Harv now and realize I can't, the next person on my list is Laura. 

So... there are some adjustments. 

I am surrounded by wonderful family and friends...and I love them so much... But they're not Laura and they're not Harv. 

I kinda like that you can't fill holes of people that you love. They've got their own spot... especially for our hearts. No one else should even try to fill that spot. It can't be done.


Daniel Hotei said...

I liked your sister though the last time I remember seeing her was that summer we worked together in 1978! I liked what you said about people having their own slots that can never be filled by anyone else ; even identical twins can be totally different - I had two uncles who were identical twins- one passed away last year - Uncle Bud - he reminded me of Dad in some ways; I'm glad my son and I got to see him on a visit to the U.S.A. three years ago. I also lost a sister; she was only four years old and I was just five at the time. You were friends with my other sister. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to have grown up with two sisters.

Sandra said...

“Grief can destroy you --or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. OR you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn't allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it's over and you're alone, you begin to see that it wasn't just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can't get off your knees for a long time, you're driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.” ~Dean Koontz, from his book 'Odd Hours'