As the finch eggs hatch in the nest on our deck, I am reminded of the cycle of life. All feathers and flopping and chirping—while my own dear sister is passing from this life to the next as I write this.
In my sober life now, death will not cause me to stumble and drink. I want to feel the sadness of your loss and not check out.
Remember you. Honor you. Fully aware.
A letter to you, Holly.
Dear Sister of Mine,
I don’t remember you not being there in my life.
I am so sad at your leaving so young and so abruptly, but I rejoice in our both knowing where you are going. We spoke many times about the joy and hope we felt knowing we would see Jesus one day. You are probably with him now. It helps me to know that as I write this to you in your transitioning.
You were my “fren”— a term we used with only each other. Being only 14 months apart, we played well together as kids. Well—you told me what to do and I obeyed—being the younger one and always looking up to your leading! We used to say, “Wanna play ‘fren’?” —that was the name of the game—which meant we would set up homes in our rooms and start playing house as friends. I would come visit you at your house and you would come to mine. We both had babies. You cradled yours like the doll’s life depended on it, and I dragged mine around by the hair without a care. We played that game for hours. I am there now with you with tears in my eyes and the fondest remembrance.
Later in life, you became the mother I always wanted to be, but never got to be. You were a great mother and allowed me to, what you called, “kid share” your children, my niece and two nephews. It taught me mothering skills I got to use later when I met Dick and got to become a Gramma to Alex and Christine’s boys—my three cherished grandsons. You taught me how. I knew not to drag them around by the hair.
You and I shared the love of our furry dog-children like nobody else we knew. A fierce love because of their unconditional and devoted love for us that knew no boundaries. We went through losses of our various dogs together, and there were many. Your comforting words were like no other person’s.
In the last few years, you have known more loss than most. Losing our own mother, your only daughter and two of your doggies within one year. We took each other through that, you and I.
I am forever grateful for your love and what we shared in this life—joy and sorrow—together.
Fly away, dear “fren.”
I know I will see you again one day.
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.”