Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Last Words I Said

Two weeks ago today I held my sister's hand as her heart beat for the last time. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. One thing that makes her death a bit bearable were knowing the last words I said to her. I talked to her on the phone about a week before her death. She called me on her dinner break from work and we chatted, mostly just family stuff. But I know without any doubt that the last words I said to her were "I love you." It's how we always ended our conversations. It's a lesson I learned years ago. If you love someone, you should always end with those words. You never know when they will be your last.
She just turned 60 this year.  Waaay too young  to be gone.  It was a cerebral hemorrhage.  It was fast and she never knew what happened.   Needless to say we have all been devastated by this.  Most especially her daughter Danielle and her husband Dick.  When Danielle called to tell me they were bringing her in to the hospital, I called Richard at work and within an hour we were in the car and on the way to Alabama.  My Jen and Charlie jumped in their car and arrived in Alabama minutes before us.  Also my sister Terry and niece Trish (and her little Maddie)  drove in from Texas.  Amazing how families come together at times like this.   It was the best of times at the worst of times.  I do wish Danielle lived closer ~ leaving her was so hard.  Thank goodness for technology ~ we not only talk, we text and we chat on facebook several times a day.

Joey was born in April of 1951 and we share the same birth parents ~ a rarity in our family.   Being 5 yrs older than me and having a divorced working mom, she was my primary caregiver.  I'm sure it was a pain for her to have to have me tagging along with her where ever she went but eventually we became great friends.
We even worked at the same company for close to 5 years and lived together in my first apartment away from home.  And actually years later when Jen was little and I was divorced, we lived together once more ~ even after she had her little girl.  We were our own unique little family.

Time passed, I married Richard...She married her husband ~ also a Richard (but called Dick).  I moved to Raleigh.  She moved to Alabama.   We still managed to get together when we could and chatted often as well.

She will leave a huge hole in my life and I will miss her dearly.  But she leaves behind a legacy of love and friendship which I will hold in my heart always. 

Good bye my sister ~ I love you!


CritterLady said...

That was a lovely tribute, Barbara. It touched my heart. I can't believe she's gone. My heart goes out to you and all who are grieving this terrible loss. I'm so grateful for the reminder to let those we love know how we feel. I love YOU!
PS - love the pics!

upstateLisa said...

Thanks for sharing, Barb. I'm sure this was a tough post to write! Hugs to you!

jillytacy said...

This is a beautiful post! I'm sorry for your loss! I hope the happy memories you have of your sister and your times spent together will help you through your sadness. I'll be thinking of you and sending you hugs.

Nancy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute to your sister, and how blessed you were to be able to be there with her at the end. Your bond with her is unending.

andsewon said...

Dear Barb.. I am so deeply sorry. Thinking of you and sending a hug up to you. May all the times you shared with Joey give you some comfort in the sad days ahead.

Sandra :) said...

OH Barb I'm so very sorry! But how lucky you were to be able to be with her when she passed over ... and to know what your last words to her were - very comforting.

Sending maple syrup hugs to you and your family :(

jbcwriter said...

Well said, Mom. Love you!

mom23boys said...

I'm so sorry, Barb. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...


What a beautiful tribute to Joey and to your relationship as sisters.

“One’s sister is a part of one’s essential self, an eternal presence of one’s heart and soul and memory.”–Susan Cabill

Love you,

APE said...

Oh Barb, I'm so sorry. ((hugs))