28 years of light

Her name was Liz, I said.

How many times have I told people the name of my sister since she died? The people who never had the opportunity to meet her, I mean.

A handful. A few dozen. I don’t know.

Though ever present in my heart and often on my mind, my sister’s story is one that I have not revealed – except through this blog – to many of the people whom I’ve come to know since her death.

Those who do know her story are those few whom I consider to be close friends.

I am grateful that her story remains alive and well, even if she is gone.

Once upon a time, my sister was born on December 1, 1976 in Washington, D.C. I was not quite three years old.

She died on a Thursday, this day, seven years ago. But the story doesn’t end there.

I’m beginning to see that our deathdays are so much less critical than our birthdays.

What happens between them is what matters.

Let me say it again.

What we choose to do and learn and see and say and how we move and speak and listen between our Birthday and our Last Day is what counts.

My sister Elizabeth lived every single day of her life in a spirit of commitment, compassion, and justice. As a child and a young adult, her days were filled with learning, laughter and love. She was practical, funny, sassy and smart. And she had strong opinions.

Shortly before I married, she spent the night at my apartment and we slept together in my queen size bed.

She tossed and turned, until finally she spoke up in the darkness,

I hate your pillows!

These pillows are the worst!

I hadn’t thought about my pillows before. I punched one of them. It was flat. The other one was lumpy.

She was right! Those were horrible pillows!

We dissolved into silly giggles before falling asleep, Liz muttering, “stupid pillows”, which made us laugh until we cried.

In the morning I’d forgotten all about the pillows.

A few months later, Liz appeared at my parents’ door step. In her arms she carried an enormous box.

A wedding present.

Inside the box were four beautiful, brand new pillows.

Gracias hermana mia.

I miss you.

read to be read at yeahwrite.me


14 thoughts on “28 years of light

  1. InkyTwig says:

    This is such an amazing remembrance of your sister. I’m sorry about her passing seven years ago. I LOVE this and it yes it is so true – “What we choose to do and learn and see and say and how we move and speak and listen between our Birthday and our Last Day is what counts.” It is a great reminder of how we should CHOOSE to live our lives. Thank you…and hugs.

  2. Sue Housholder says:

    What a lovely story, Sara. I think of Liz OFTEN and remember all those attributes about her that you mentioned in your story. She was a beautiful person, both inside and out. She will remain in our hearts till the end of time.

  3. paralaxvu says:

    I don’t know the terrible loss of a sister, but I know the love and friendship of a sister. Thank you for reminding me how much I need to care for that relationship while we’re both still here.

  4. –My sister was murdered on May 26, 2010.

    The earth shook…darkened…stopped.

    I shall never be the same without her.

    Thank you for sharing this most beautiful story.


  5. Lois says:

    Thank you for sharing this, so moving; I have a sister too, although I ‘lost’ her a very long time ago when she was involved in a car accident and received terrible head injuries. She is still with us, and we share happy times together, but she is in a care home and has missed the wonderful life she should have had. So I really appreciated your story of Elizabeth, thank you.

  6. This is a beautifully written story….

  7. eof737 says:

    I stumbled across your post on BlogFarm and wanted to stop by to sending you virtual hugs and healing light. Your sister must have been a magical, beautiful soul and it shines through in your tribute to her… I recently lost a sister in law who was like a sister to my family and it still is fresh and sad. Thank you for sharing Liz’s life with us. We share the loss of our dads too but I remember mine on this day because his presence is always near… Happy Father’s Day!

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