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.
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
At the beach I notice the Queen Anne’s Lace
(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
and 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
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]