Some of you may remember my post that mentioned my sister and her husband losing their home in a fire outside of Freer the day before Hurricane Harvey hit. They were able to rebuild and move into their new home in time to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in December. Sadly, the effects of Alzheimer’s had already reduced the quality of her life. Last week she died peacefully at home at the age of 87.
With my son standing beside me I was able to deliver these words of remembrance at her service.
I hate losing one of my big sisters, Marie. She was thirteen years older so she was like a second mother to me. My other sister, Barbara, is nine years older. I wanted to grow up to be just like my big sisters. They both helped with me when I was little. When Marie and Clifton got married, I would often stay with them as my mother had some health problems. She always seemed to be in the kitchen cooking something. If unexpected guests arrived, she would waltz into the kitchen and whip out a meal from scratch.
As our age gap narrowed, we became adult friends. She shared her recipes – buttermilk pie, Christmas cookies and casseroles. And she taught me how to cook deer meat a dozen different ways. Yet could never teach me how to crochet – my fingers could just not handle a crochet needle and thread. But she could crochet anything!
For the past several years the three of us could not always get together very often, but when we did, before we left we would join hands and make a circle. We laughed like kids again. I am not sure who started this, but I think it was Barbara. If only two of us were together, we would still join hands and enlist anyone standing nearby – a niece, a nephew, a husband – to join and complete the circle.
Last Sunday Barbara and I went to Freer to see Marie. As we left we took her frail hands and made our circle. She opened her eyes. We wanted to think she understood, but it didn’t matter…we were making our last circle.
I will miss my big sister, Big Daughter, as our father called her. She had a full life. She loved Freer, she loved living on the ranch that our grandparents started, she loved her family and most of all she loved Clifton for almost 71 years.
Rest in peace, my sister.
Her a link to her obituary is below.