Happy Birthday Sis-30 Years On

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Today February 22, 2014, would have been my sister Deanne’s 55th birthday.  I try to picture what she and her family would have looked like.  Her children would have been around the same age as Dan and Sarah, in their 20’s, first cousins on the Rosenkrantz side.   I bet that Deanne would have been a very successful teacher, maybe even at this point a school administrator.  I think that she would have attained an MA-Education.   Deanne would probably have been just as beautiful, although a few years older, as the day that she at 25 and her friend Lisa at 23 were killed by a drunk driver on April 15, 1984.

Thirty years is a long time in the life of a human being.   Lots of history has been made since Deanne and Lisa were killed, there has been tremendous population growth on the planet, many wars have been fought  and the list goes on.  For many, understandably, the loss of a child, a sibling, a parent, a friend is a life defining moment. Some people’s internal clocks freeze and life become full of bitterness.  Granted, when one thinks of the atrocities continuously cast upon us, this makes emotional sense; there is no more and life becomes a living among shadows.

When I think about my sister, and every morning look at her photo which is next to my bed, I feel incredibly mixed emotions, i.e.  I’m happy that she was in my life even for a  short time, but I’m ultimately saddened by the fact that she isn’t  in  this physical  plane, that I can’t hug and see her, hear her  sweet voice, which I still  vaguely remember, telling me how proud she is of what I’ve done in my life and  me reciprocating in-kind.   I can’t tell her any of my stories or travel together, just hang out talking about our lives.

I feel a  deep sadness which reverberates throughout my body, something I feel as I write this, from  the tears welling up in my eyes, to the emptiness in my belly to the  feeling of paralysis in my legs.  I love children and have lots of younger cousins, but I will never be a “blood” uncle as my sister Robyn doesn’t have children.   I have a feeling of loss, as somehow I know or want to believe, that Deanne would have married her boyfriend Bob and they would have had incredible children.

I can’t begin to understand what my parents, Norman and Simone,  must still feel on this day; a sense of bringing a new life into this world  only to see this extinguished  by  somebody who drank too much. Sometimes I do get scared that something will happen to my children.  I was  happy as my son Daniel, who was named after Deanne, made it past his 25th birthday; an irrational feeling but never-the-less something which scared me.

I don’t want to memorialize Deanne, but as I remember her, she seemed very happy, someone who traveled a lot and tended more often than not to enjoy life.  We were young, immature, had the usual sibling rivalries.  As I’ve aged, I feel the depth of my relationships grow to a more mature state.  This is something that I won’t ever know, but can only imagine, with Deanne.  Ultimately that is the true loss that I feel. Certainly my life would have been different, richer, as well as those of everyone whom she touched through her smile, her kindness, her generosity. 

I wish you a happy, beautiful birthday sis, for as long as I live I will remember your beauty, an ability to make those around you happier, just from seeing your smile and feeling your kindness.  You continue to be loved, wherever you might be.  

Position: Lover of Life-Change Agent

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