Since February 14th of this year, I have been living in a blur. I have tried to put aside the pain, the sadness and the emptiness left by the sudden death of my baby sister, Mary Beth. I told myself I haven’t written about it because my blog is supposed to be a ‘happy’ blog, a blog about my life – which generally is happy – but life isn’t always happy. Life has disasters, life has awful surprises as well as good ones, and frankly, sometimes life deals us a really stupid, rotten, crappy hand. What we do after all of that nonsense or in spite of it, is what defines us and shapes our lives.
I miss my sister very much. We had developed a deep friendship over the years. She was six years younger, but in so many ways so much wiser than I could ever hope to be. She understood what it meant to be steadfast and loyal – even when the ones she loved the most had abandoned her. She understood what it meant to love without reserve – even if she didn’t receive that love in return from those she should have. She understood what it was to be reborn – to love and to be loved again, to be cherished and to be the center of someone’s life. She understood that pain is fleeting, but love is forever. She lived her short life the best she knew how. She lost her sparkle for a while, but someone helped her find it again – and I watched her become the happiest I had seen her in years – and she shared that sparkle with everyone who came within her orbit.
I miss talking to her almost every day. I miss hearing her say my name with her Alabama drawl. I miss her not just asking about what was going on my life – but really caring about the answer. I miss her telling me how she had finally found love and happiness. I miss her wanting to share all of that with me.
On February 14, 2015, Mary Beth died – but her sparkle lives on – in me and my three remaining sisters, in her children, in the man she loved – David. Her sparkle can be seen in my own grandchildren who loved her – and her grandchildren – even the ones who will not get to meet her. I feel her sparkle when I do a kind deed for someone, when I sing a song and even when I pray.
I will always miss my baby sister – and the only way to remember her and honor her is to let her sparkle shine through me. She would not want me to mourn her forever – but rather to live my life and love those around me – and share the sparkle she gave me with others.