One of my earliest memories is waking up on the floor on spring morning. I remember crying, I remember pain. I remember my sister coming in to check on me and helping me get to my grandma (Manny’s) house. My sister trying to do everything to get me to be ok, worried about me and taking care of me. I was maybe 4 yrs old and she got me up every morning and took me to my Manny’s house because my mom worked nights at the ER. Manny & Dinah finally called my mom where I was rushed to the ER with a broken collar bone. I had fallen from my bunk bed and landed wrong and it snapped.
Another early memory of my childhood was lying in bed with my sister. She was always so warm and when I could be cold I would always want to snuggle with her. I know there is more than one picture floating around of us sleeping together. She would always sing to me; to this day I can’t hear the song, The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia, without thinking of her.
I was 5 when my next memory comes in. I was sick as a dog as I slept through most of my sister’s graduation and the party afterwards. A few months later, I remember going into a room and seeing my sister all dressed up and I had no idea what was going on, but as my sister walked down the aisle of the church and my mom squeezing my hand, I knew it was pretty profound. I didn’t understand why she wasn’t staying in my room anymore but Mom quickly changed the room around so I didn’t have too much time to miss her. It would be a little over a year later that my first niece, Julie, was born.
Times past, choices made and we drifted apart but there was still that bond there that only those with sisters will ever understand. Shared memories, shared blood, shared secrets always brought us back into each other’s confidence. She would always give me very wise counsel from our Manny, “Listen to what everyone has to say, then do what you feel is best.” Something I have tried hard to live by. We had just found each other again when it was time for her to go and every day that goes by, I miss her. She left me with a great responsibility, being world’s greatest aunt to 7 wonderful kids. While I love them all equally, some of them are less close then others. Some are more like sisters then nieces and for that I will always thank Dinah for…I have all these little pieces of her left. So today on her 53rd birthday I celebrate. I celebrate her life and know that her and my Mom & my Manny (and other family members) are celebrating together. Here’s to you Dinah, my big sis…thanks for all you gave to me and continue to give me everyday!!