Two of my sisters have birthdays in July. Neither of them are speaking to me right now. I send each of them a card each year, a promise I made to myself when our mother died. It is more painful than I can describe to explain losing most of my family after our mother’s death. All I can say to them, to myself, is that I love them, no matter what, that I miss them, and I hope they are doing well.
This is my sister Debbie, with Lexie, her granddaughter. Debbie is an RN, a mother of four beautiful children, and grandmother of six. After dropping out of high school to get married, she later went to college, finishing in the top of her class, after having four kids. I am so proud of her. She likes to read. She’s a great cook. She helped take care of our brother and of Mama. I will never forget that, and I know how hard it was for her to do that. I will always be grateful to her.
Teresa is my baby sister, born when I was a senior in high school. We all helped raise her, and spoil her.
Teresa went to the University of Alabama, my alma mater, then switched to the University of South Alabama in Mobile to finish up her degree in marketing. She was devastated when she lost her father, our step dad, in 2000. The only thing we had ever asked of him was to take care of our mother, and the only thing we asked of Teresa is that she do the same, and she did.
Now we have lost Mama too. Her death seemed to pull us apart. I won’t go into all the reasons, because they really don’t matter.
What matters to me is that none of us deserved to suffer this second loss of our unity as a family, and I want that back.
So, before I send out their birthday cards, I just want Debbie and Teresa to know I love them, I miss them, I am still proud to be their sister, and I hope they are doing well.