My Late Sister’s Birthday

Today, November 2, is my late sister’s birthday.  I pause to remember her, especially today, though I think of her often still.  It still catches me by surprise when I find myself thinking “I need to tell her about this,” when I come across something I think she would have especially enjoyed hearing about.

As I write this, I’m looking at two photos.  One is a photo taken in her apartment; she and one of my brothers and his daughter and son-in-law, along with my wife, are all smiling into the camera.  The other is a photo of my three brothers and both my sisters, and me, sitting around the breakfast table in my house.  My late sister is sitting in her wheelchair, her smile looking radiant and genuine.  I miss seeing all my siblings; on this, her birthday, I especially miss my late sister.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to My Late Sister’s Birthday

  1. Thank you, Juan. It’s the finality of it, the realization that, no matter how badly we might want it to be otherwise, there are some things we simply cannot change…ever. But memories can provide some solace, as your memories of Flynn and King. As for my obit, I don’t think I’ll care at the time. 😉 The cadre of people who might care when my time comes is small and shrinking, so an obit might not even be considered.

  2. Juan says:

    This is a touching piece. I loved the lines, “It still catches me by surprise when I find myself thinking “I need to tell her about this,” when I come across something I think she would have especially enjoyed hearing about.” That’s theme here.

    “Missing” is a phrase that comes to mind.

    I keep a leather-bound scrapbook, with newspaper clippings worked in, and maybe other kinds of clippings too, like a leaf or a small flower, or maybe a water-colored page.

    On one of the pages, toward the middle, are two obits of friends: Dennis Flynn (1948 -2010) and Stephen King (1957 – 2011). Dead …I look on those obits like they were examples of my own.

    Dead! Even its very “Deh – d” consonance speaks end! Doesn’t it, as in the words dummy or dumbshit or debacle!

    But in the proximity of my space, Flynn and King were as unconquerable as Socrates and as congenial as home! I seriously loved them both… I followed them … talked to them…fell in love with the same girls….read poetry together….had many a dinner and drink with them, and likely learned more from those two than all the books in my library.

    “And so there it is … this is what you get … an obit?” LOL~
    You may have a full life, but “this is what you get!” A FUCKED UP OBIT!

    I’ve written in my will that I don’t want an obituary written on me.

    So glad you have extended the life of your sister here…..the lesson is an extension on a number of things.

    Juan

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