Sunday, January 15

Quote of the Day:  “Let a joy keep you.  Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by.”  Carl Sandburg

Today is Lynne’s birthday and I have been thinking about her all day, she would have been 55.  I have spent every year of my life celebrating her birthday, watching her open gifts as a child, then as a teenager and finally as an adult.  We had so much fun last year in Bora Bora, where I got to share her 54th birthday with her in person.  What a great git that was for me.  We took a scuba-diving trip to a nearby spot where we could swim with stingrays and tiger sharks.  The water was amazingly warm and it’s surprising how acclimated you become to swimming with sharks darting to and fro around you.  I sat by Lynne in the boat and she had a big smile on her face.  So grateful I have pictures so I can remember how happy Lynne was, that is precisely how I want to invision her in my mind.  The true test of a vacation is how it causes and also allows you to forget that other life you have back home and that is exactly what we did.  We ate what we wanted, slept long if we felt like it, spent the afternoon in a lounge chair surrounding the pool.  No wonder you can barely remember any troubles back home!  Lynne does look wonderfully happy in the pictures.  She must have been carrying a horrible burden as her body was slowly dying but you would not have known it, she looks like a picture of health.  

Little did I know that as we walked around the ship, participating in the Race for the Cure Breast Cancer Walk, we were walking for Lynne and for me.  I am so fortunate to have spent almost 55 years with her as my sister.  The other day, Maggie did something that reminded me of Lynne.  Maggie saw something rather slapstick on TV that made her laugh heartily out loud and I remembered how Lynne loved slapstick.  When we were growing up, there was little variety on TV, also we had a very old TV with rabbit ears that had to be wiggled just right if you wanted to see a thing.  But, because of those issues, television was not taken for granted, it was a special occasion.  We would watch Red Skelton, who was one of Lynne’s favorites.  I must admit I saw no humor in his antics but Lynne would laugh and laugh.  She loved his dimpled face and all he stood for.  It’s fitting that he said “I just want to be known as a clown, because to me that’s the height of my profession. It means you can do everything—sing, dance and above all, make people laugh.”  

I am a better person because of my sister.  She stood up for things that I never dared stand up for and even in my 50s I’m still trying to learn to be like her.  But here’s what I loved best about her.  She put others before herself.  It made me so sad when she said that God must have given her cancer to teach her what she needed to learn so she strived to learn the lessons he was teaching.  She kept trying to understand that concept, to learn so that she could continue living.  I don’t believe that, she got cancer because some cells mutated.  She unselfishly would put her needs after another’s needs and that is the greatest gift I received from her. It’s important to me that she knows and her children know that her gifts live on.  So Happy Birthday Lynne- thanks for the gifts you have shared with me all these years!  We all miss you terribly!

Lynne- living life in Tahiti

 Lynne’s 54th birthday- January 15, 2011


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