Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Recently, my sister discovered that she has ovarian cancer. This event has made me take pause and reflect on our relationship.

She is 12 years older than I am, and married and left the house when I was only 7 years old. Although she wasn't close in the sense that she wasn't a part of our household as I grew up, she has always been there for me.

I remember when I was a little girl, a friend of mine wrote on the walls of my front porch with a marker. My dad was so mad! He didn't believe me when I told him I didn't do it, so I was banished to my room. My sister came in and played Uncle Piggly Wiggly with me until my punishment was over.

I also remember when she used to turn her high school senior ring inward toward her palm and whack me in the head when I was obnoxious and bratty! Ouch--that hurt!

My sister is an amazing seamstress and quilter. When she was a newlywed, she didn't have a sewing machine, but she would hand-sew the most amazing and detailed clothes for my Barbies. She would sew on little beads for buttons, line all the dresses and coats, and add touches of lace--couture Barbie! My Barbies dressed more like June Clever rather than Marilyn Monroe, but how lucky I was to have one-of-a-kind creations! Just 2 weeks ago, these Barbie clothes were passed down to my granddaughter Gracie.

When my late husband and I were going through difficult times, I could always count on her to help me with my kids; to keep them safe and fed and sheltered when I just couldn't cope.

When I graduated college at the age of 43, she gave me a box filled with all of the pieces to a quilt she designed for me but had not finished. Four years later the quilt was finished, but I had to wait to take ownership because it hung in a bank lobby for six months. It took her four years to complete the quilt because she had to make it perfect. That is how she is. It is the most exquisite example of quilting I have ever seen.

Recently, my daughter married. I asked my sister if she would make the little dresses for my granddaughters. She agreed, and in her usual style, created dresses that were perfect in execution and beauty. She even hand-embroidered their monograms on the tails of the dress sashes.

I remember all of these things and at the same time realize I can't remember the last time I told her that I loved her. Even with her illness, and the urgency to let her know that I love her, I still have a hard time saying it out loud (I come from a family that isn't very demonstrative!). So I have been buying and sending her cards. I have been buying the cards, of course, here on Etsy. Every card I have purchased has been absolutely beautiful, and the sellers have taken great care and spent extra time to insure that I get just the right card for my sister. These wonderful pieces of art have made it easier to express myself in a way I haven't been able to before.

So, if you haven't SAID "I love you" to your mother, father, sister, brother, child, *fill in the blank,* say it today. And if it is hard to say, send a card, note, letter, email, or a smoke signal. It feels good!

I will close this post by sharing with you that I love my sister Donna, and she is the best sister in the world.


Sherrie Conner said...

So sorry to hear about your sisters recent discovery. My best wishes go out to her. She sounds like a fascinating women!

Sherrie Conner

Mike's Hemp Bracelets said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your sister. She sounds like a wonderful person. I will keep you all in my prayers.

Kim said...

Mom, what a nice blog. Donna needs to read this!

BululuStudio said...

Very inspirational story, sorry to hear about your sister illness.