If you have a sister you know what I’m talking about – there is a bond between us that makes us all stronger together. I have two older sisters. Both at the top of the birth order of five siblings. I finish the list as child number five, sister number three.
Life has a way of reminding us how fragile our existence on the earth really is – it often takes loss to get our attention. Once we realize life has one guarantee – you will die- you start seeing the world differently.
When our Mom passed away, we vowed to spend more time together as sisters celebrating life. And we did. It became our mission, and sometimes even a chore, to get the sisters together at least once a month. From salt spas in Williamsburg to seashells in Sanibel, we found time for each other. As the years pass, our photos tell our story, we age a little and smile a lot.
But our sister story took an unexpected turn when my oldest sister Deb died suddenly. There was no warning and nothing to prepare us for this tremendous loss. It was devastating to our family, especially for me and my sister Geri. Our partner in crime was gone. Her lively essence was extinguished. But how could that be? We were just together laughing and joking. Geri and I were numb.
The overwhelming support of our friends and the community brought us comfort. But the void left from loss is a strange and awkward emotion. How does one deal with this grief? It’s been a year since Deb passed. My sister Geri and I have spent the last 12 months making sense of it all only to realize life is short.
Debs favorite saying was, YOLO – You Only Live Once. But I’ve come to realize the opposite is true- you only die once, but you live everyday. And my sister Deb did just that. She lived everyday with an enthusiasm for life and a heart full of love.
My sister Geri and I celebrate Deb’s life and legacy everyday. We hold tight to our memories and all the things that made Deb a one-of-a-kind person. Like her crazy-assed stories ( you were never sure if she was kidding or serious) were entertaining to say the least. But one thing for sure, Deb was generous with her time, money, and love.
The one thing I’ve learned from this experience, is that you are not guaranteed tomorrow so make the best of today.