the shared experiences of siblings

When it comes to sisters, I am not an expert as I only had one. But then alot of people I knew only had one sister; I guess my parents were of the: 1. boy 1. girl and then quit variety.

As we grew to adults I would not describe our relationship as close. But we were siblings, united by blood and shared experience.

I remember one occassion as a boy going to 49er Days at CSULB, the University near our home. One of the “events” of the day was a hanging. From my vantage point I could see how the stunt was performed; a harness with a hook hidden under the shirt. I took this knowledge home and somehow talked my sister into re-enacting this stunt. Tying the rope to the tree and then around my sister’s body and then finally around her neck she swung from the V in the backyard tree. My intention was not evil, it was to put this new-found informaton to work. Fortunately nothing happened! And fortunately my Mom did not catch us.

I remember on Sunday mornings how my Mom would come into the family room dressed for church. She would ask how she looked. My sister would reply… “okay” with just the right tone to put a dab of doubt in my Mom’s mind causing her to change.

Then there was the trip to the video store. My sister and I would playfully push our Mom into the adult section; by my Mom’s reaction it seemed that she felt she could be defiled just by breathing air that came into contact with the adult videos. My sister and I found this amusing.

There was the nite when our family was watching a scary movie on TV together. During a commerical my Dad went to the bathroom. My sister thot it would be funny to crawl around the hall door and scare my Dad as he returned to the living room; apparently my Dad had a similar idea. In turn they scared each other as they met, ground level, crawling in the hallway.

There are shared memories of vacations, getting in trouble, family events, and etc. that we shared.

My sister became diabetic and and then she had to go on hemo-dialysis. Her health was not good and she went into a nursing home.

The final memory my sister and I shared occured last month in Tacoma, WA at St. Joseph’s Hospital. On Sunday, March 18, my sister had been taken to the hospital after going into cardiac/respiratory arrest. I visited her in the hospital ICU room. She was on life support and unconscious. During two of the visits I anointed her with oil taken from the Vigil Lamp at the sepulchre of St. John of San Francisco. On Monday morning we were officially told that she was brain dead. My parents gave authorization for her life support to be removed. During my final visits with her I told her I loved her. I asked her forgiveness for all my offenses against her. I touched her forehead. I prayed the Our Father, Psalm 50 (according to the Septuagint) and recited the Nicene Creed.

With my parents, myself and my wife and kids, and some of her friends at her bedside; the respiratory therapist and nurse removed the intubation tube. In a matter of 5 to 10 minutes my sister’s final journey in this life had been completed and at 10:28 AM on March 19, 2007, my sister had reposed. She was 42 years old.

With the Saints give rest, O Christ, to the soul of thy servant Diane, where there is neither sickness, nor sorrow, nor sighing, but life everlasting.

May her Memory be Eternal.

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7 Responses to “the shared experiences of siblings”

  1. christina Says:

    May her memory be eternal! I am sad for you, but more sad for your parents. I went to my father in law funeral a few years ago and his mother (my husbands grandmother) was still alive at that time (she was in her nineties). She was at the funeral. And even at her age you could tell that her grief is/was different than anyone elses… to have to bury your child, no matter what age, would be difficult (makes me think of one of the hymns from Holy Thursday about the Theotokos in grief). Anyway, all this to say your sister, you and your family, and especially your parents are in my prayers.

  2. Agni Says:

    Memory Eternal.
    Give rest to her soul O Lord.

  3. Paula Says:

    That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing that.

  4. Mimi Says:

    Memory Eternal.

  5. bluecanopy Says:

    Memory Eternal.

    Very intense Papa…thanks for putting it out there.

    Pascha is coming…

  6. Mr. H Says:

    what is always a constant reminder of me is during these times that our faith is not a faith of books and theorys. Rather, it is lived , and when it is lived it is believed and passed down and caught by those who we love. It is difficult at best. If it was not difficult it would cheapen our love for each other.

    May her memory be eternal. She will be in my prayers my dear friend.

  7. handmaidleah Says:

    Christ is Risen!
    I am a ’65 model, I’ll be 42 in August. I have sister that is just about 5 years older than myself. We were very close growing up and not so close now that she is on her second marriage. Time mostly, has caused the drift, that and we are Orthodox, they are not. We live in the same town and see each other maybe twice a year. Tha’s a drift.
    Yet, to lose someone with all of that shared history? Hard. Tough.
    I wouldn’t even know where to start.
    Thank you for sharing your memories. I am going to call my sister.
    God Bless you…
    Indeed He is Risen!
    the handmaid,
    Mary-Leah

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