Sister – for Laurie in loving memory

It is with a broken heart I write that my sister Laurie died in Rockville on July 22 at age 61 after a long battle with MS.

Laurie spent the last years of her life at Potomac Valley Nursing Center,  and for their compassionate care,  that of the wonderful JSSA hospice team,  and many others in Maryland who gave our family comfort and support,  I will be ever grateful.   Mr Rogers told us in times of tragedy to look for the helpers,  and we found them.

But although Laurie’s death was expected and her suffering has ended,  I grieve so now.

I read this at Laurie’s funeral.

SISTER

My poet-sister, silent now,  let me be your voice.

Let me speak of the child you were,  the sweet girl-child with the ten-year bigger sister.   Was I too busy then with my urgent teenage needs,  too busy for a little sister?

“When you’re five,  you’ll grow another toe.”,  I said.   Was I cruel to tell you that?

But I read to you,  over and over again,  your favorite books –  The Most Wonderful Doll in the World who had so many beautiful dresses,  and Heidi who went to live with her grandfather in the mountains,  and big Horton who heard a tiny Who.

And I took you window shopping and told you all my secrets.

“These are the dishes I’ll buy when I get married.”,   I said knowingly at 16,  showing you the ones with the red berry pattern that I liked best.

And then for weeks you pestered me.

“Take me to Macys again,”  you said,  ” to see your berry dishes.”

Rest in peace,  my little sister.

Dana Susan Lehrman

6 Comments

  • I wish I had met Laurie. You have given her as a little girl such a presence and voice in your post. At the shiva last week, it was amazing to see her doctoral thesis and the beautiful display of pictures. I am certain this post is a good way to help in your grieving process.

  • That’s beautiful, Dana. I guess you still have the dishes? What a lovely, but mixed memory, both happy and sad. xoxo

    • Thanx Alice, but at age 16 I was only window shopping, and when I married years later I had surely forgotten those dishes!

      But thinking about Laurie and that sweet memory, I googled “berry dishes” and that photo came up! And indeed they were very much like those special dishes on display in Macys Parkchester circa 1960!

  • Thank you Dana for so beautifully sharing these and other such tender wonderful memories. Those heartfelt moments of closeness are when I feel closest to my idea of god. Love you my dear cousin. 💖

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