Singing her song!

Today, August 28, 2011, I remember Brenda Jane in my own quiet way, releasing a green balloon into the air on the bluff above Lake Michigan at Ft. Sheridan beach.

She would be 51 years old today.

I will song your song, little sister!
I will sing your song, little sister!

A tiny premie, she lived only 7 hours.
I never knew her.
I have no grave to visit
only a set of footprints to prove
she lived and died.

Baby Brenda Jane August 28,1959

Baby Brenda Jane August 28,1959

At the beach I notice the Queen Anne’s Lace

Queen Anne’s Lace along Lake Michigan

(Queen Anne’s Lace along Lake Michigan, camera focused on the “baby” blossom

my favorite wildflower,
a full-grown flower and a baby one
all on the same stem –
just like me and my baby sister . . .
12 years apart
from the same “stem.”

As I stroll out the path to the edge of the bluff,
my eyes fill with tears at the loss of a sister
I never knew.

Not knowing what our relationship would be, I craft one to my own liking. Observing my cousins at the recent reunion, I see how they love and honor each other as siblings. And knowing how Gordon and I were, I expect we’d be the same.

As I allow myself to feel the sadness, I have a precious though. August 28th is not only a day of life and death for a sister. . . . . . .

It is a day to celebrate the birth of my beautiful daughter-in-law.
wife of my son,
mother of 4 of my grandchildren
I think of her loving ways and her beautiful smile
and after shedding a few more tears for the sister I never knew I smile.
I must call my Daughter-in-law and tell her how much I love her.

I will sing your song, little sister!
I lift my green balloon into the air –
the color of Peridot, the August Birthstone, and say:

     “I will sing your song, little sister
        and I will hold you in my heart,
            until I can hold you in my arms.”


Elaine Stillwell: a grief counselor says “If their song is to continue, then we must do the singing. We have to find that special way that will allow us to sing our loved one’s song loud and clear . . . Knowing you are doing something to keep your loved one’s memory alive keeps you passionately busy, allows you to tell your sacred story, adds joy to your heart, brings an array of beautiful, loving people into your life, and rewards you with a meaningful life again. Your loud voice will echo in many hearts making sure your loved one is never erased from memory. [Source: Elaine Stillwell, in “Singing Their Song,” Grief Digest, Volume 2, Issue #4]

7 Replies to “Singing her song!”

  1. I plan to pass this on to my sister who lost a baby boy who lived only one day.
    Brianna has so many similarities with her Daddy Brad even though he passed away when she was just a baby.
    Loving memories of the Pennsylvania Reunion,
    Linda Busby Malone

  2. Beautiful work Carol. I liked the comments by Carolyn Hearing, they seem to fit with your families situations also don’t they?

    keep writing and sharing God’s insights to you, his creative gift to us!!!

  3. Jer 29:11 (NIV) “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

    Ironically, this verse–on so many hearts, posters and mirrors–is smack dab in the middle of God’s pronounced judgment of 70 years captivity.

    My feeling is that our family has endured more than its share of pain, hardship, loss of loved ones, false accusations, health issues, and disappointments. Years ago when this verse began to minister to me I realized God trusted our family to endure much more than most families could endure. He would equip us to go through the “valley of death” and come out refined. Gold and pearls don’t come easily!

    So whenever I see others dealing with painful struggles of life, my first reaction is, “Wow, how precious to be used of God in this way. Not everyone would be able to stay the course, learn and then share the blessed outcome. Praise the Lord He trusts that person with their personal journey!”

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