Life Lessons: Little Girl Lost

Gentleness

Source

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.

— Mark Twain

My sister, Mary Jane, was remarkable and inspiring far beyond her years. Her walk on the planet caused those who came in contact with her to be filled with joy and lifted up just because she was nearby.

She could often be found outside walking in the many flower beds around the property where our home was located. She especially loved roses. When she died, my Mother planted a rose bush in the area outside of our breakfast nook. When it bloomed we could be enchanted by its loveliness and be reminded of our precious Mary Jane.

Sharing this pink rose with you is a way to present one side of a most remarkable little human being whose ethereal beauty inside and out inspired and challenged others to be the best version of themselves.

Appropriately the pink rose symbolizes perfect happiness, grace, and gentleness---all of these perfect descriptors of Mary Jane, the little girl lost who succumbed to brain cancer but found the key to living before her death and passed it along to all who knew her:

live and love with passion and sincerity every moment of every day. Profound I think. O, that I can do this each day.

Perhaps she knew what Mr. Twain meant when he advised..be prepared to die at any time.

There is something mystical about how this music helps to keep me grounded/

Mary Jane

Source

Visit to the country....

Our annual visit to our cousins and aunts and uncles in the country was filled with excitement every year. The annual pilgrimage to reunite with family began two days before Christmas.

The family piled all of their Christmas packages into the trunk of their 1948 Ford, piled three sisters, ages 4, 9, and 11, into the backseat, and headed out to the very rural Virginia home place of the momma of the Traughber family.

The drive would take about two and one half hours so the girls kept busy reading their favorite books out loud, coloring in coloring books, counting cars, and talking, talking, talking about important things. Things like: ‘I wonder if Santa Claus will find us at Aunt Dottie’s house’; or, ‘I wonder if I am getting ….’ and the voices trailed off as they giggled and laughed out loud about the silliest things.

Family joy and sorrow would long be remembered after this holiday.

Three sisters: left to right...Patti, Mary Jane, Teresa

Patti age three  Mary Jane age 8 Teresa age 10
Patti age three Mary Jane age 8 Teresa age 10 | Source

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.

Mother Theresa


Simple, uncomplicated choice of words that is such an important way to live.

Let the fun begin....

It was late afternoon by the time the travelers pulled off the main highway onto the long, winding road which lead to the home place. The horn sounded to announce our arrival.

Everyone rushed out to greet us. Hugging, kissing, and laughing filled the air. The three girls anticipated with great excitement this reunion every year.This home was special to them. It had been the home of their Grandmother, Grandfather, their Mother, and their aunts and uncle, too.

It was a rambling three story house with bedrooms tucked here and there in unexpected corners as if to surprise those who visited.There was a very spacious living room with comfy chairs and couches. It was cozy and inviting but it was the second most favorite spot in the house. The kitchen was number one!

Most everyone crowded into the kitchen to find a warm, freshly baked, oh-so-fragrant oatmeal cookie jam-packed with plump luscious raisins. . The aromas meandered throughout the home place inviting, beckoning even, to all to come and investigate.

The children who had journeyed to this place were now in liege with their cousins so six of them were running, squealing, playing, and overflowing with the fun of it all.



The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the
utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer
experience.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Christmas Eve Supper

The evening meal was simple but filling. Bowls of chicken soup, soup that had simmered all day on the back burner, were ladled into gray ceramic bowls at the dinner table. This was real chicken soup filled with planks of chicken, carrots, potatoes, and celery swimming in the broth only simmering all day could create. Each bowl was served with freshly made rolls. Those rolls. Divine. Usually there were far fewer rolls for the meal than had been planned as each time a child had scurried through the kitchen another, freshly baked, steaming hot roll disappeared.

After the meal, leftover foods were stored. Dishes were cleared and washed. The elder sisters remained in the kitchen to prepare apple, pumpkin, and mincemeat pie and more rolls for the meal on the following afternoon. Christmas Day.


Daddy with Mary Jane in his arms...

A few short years later he would hold me in his arms to give a final farewell to her.
A few short years later he would hold me in his arms to give a final farewell to her. | Source

Wow!!

When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love ...


Marcus Aurelius


He nailed it. It is indeed a privilege to be alive---to wrap our arms around this day and find the newness that awaits each of us!!!

Trimming the tree...

All of the children gathered in the living room where a freshly cut Scotch pine occupied a space befitting such a regal tree. It seemed so tall it could touch the sky and probably was very tall as the ceilings were very high in that house. Children would adorn the family tree with tinsel, popcorn, and a multitude of glass ornaments that had been in their family for many years.

Every child eagerly awaited the first step in the decorating ceremony.

Stringing popcorn was the one part of the ceremony that was the most fun of all. Blunt end needles had been purchased so that no little fingers were precipitously stuck rather than a piece of corn. And when a piece broke, it was not wasted. The one nearest that piece gladly retrieved it and chomped away. The youngest child, who was only four, was not left out. She got the ‘important’ job of bringing more corn in from the kitchen to the dining room table where the ‘stringers’ were working. She also was able to retrieve fallen pieces of corn to munch on while she watched her sisters and cousins busily making these strands of ‘snow’ to decorate the tree.

Once all of the stringing was complete, a ladder was situated just so and the tallest cousin carefully ascended it and began to wind the strands around and through each branch. As soon as he was down low enough where others could reach the branches, the ladder was removed, and everyone took a turn placing some part of that garland on the branches.

‘Ooohs’ and ‘aaahhhs’ resounded. Children ran to the kitchen to invite the Grownups to come see this work of art!!! Wiping hands on aprons, the sisters would come; the uncles would come from another room where they had been smoking cigars, reading, and occasionally chatting.

Where is Mary Jane?

One little girl slipped away from the rest of the children. It took a little while for the others to notice with all of the excitement that surrounded the decorating of the tree. When they did find she was not hiding somewhere in the room, they were not really too concerned. She would often wander off to see what the Grownups were doing.

She was not with them either and then everyone began to look in earnest for the missing nine year old girl. After an exhaustive search, her Mother thought to look in a bedroom. And there she was, laying face down on a bed, sobbing.

When her Mother asked her what was wrong, she said: “I went to the bathroom, and I dropped the toilet paper in the toilet!” and she burst into a new, heart wrenching round of sobs.

"That's okay, Mary Jane," our Mother told her. I will take care of it. Everyone has an accident sometimes."

Nothing more was said of it. The little one who had been missing rejoined the others.

It was time to bring out the ornaments that would be placed on the trees. First though the Grown ups wound the strands of colored lights around the branches. The lights the children anticipated the most had candle- shaped lights that were filled with liquid. And when they were plugged in tiny bubbles would appear inside of them. Soon the bubbles began to dance around in the glass tubes and the kids clapped at the sight of them.

The home where Mary Jane spent her nine years

Just a partial view of the back side of our home.
Just a partial view of the back side of our home. | Source

Antique ornaments

Each year, at the end of the holidays, the ornaments were wrapped carefully in tissue paper and tucked in boxes until the next December. Time now to free them from the boxes. Each child took a turn hanging shiny fragile balls on the branches. The older children could reach the high branches so by the time all of the boxes were emptied, no branches had been missed.

Each child was given a nylon stocking to hang on the mantle. They would be removed the next morning before the fireplace was used.

The family gathered for one last look at the tree before the children were shooed upstairs to get ready for bed. It had been a full day but excitement still filled the air.

Santa Claus would be coming soon.


How You Can
Embrace Today
Suggested
Implement
make a list
go ahead....write down all of the positives you can think of in 5 minutes
phone someone you love/or, someone who really needs a call
take a few minutes and call someone just to say you are thinking of them
write a letter
Jot a few lines to someone in a card you have made or on simple stationary and drop in the mail...it is more personal than email
go visit someone
visit someone you know will be thrilled by a visit from you
exercise
go for a brisk walk---take time to smell the roses
meditate
find your happy place and take a few minutes to fine tune your inner self.
 
 

Opening our gifts...

The stockings that had been hung the night before were now swollen with goodies. Each one of us was handed one.

Inside each stocking could be found: an orange, an apple, hard candy, a handful of nuts in shells, a pair of socks, a tiny coloring book, a small box of crayons, jacks, a peppermint stick or some other special treat.

Other gifts were now passed out and many ‘just what I wanteds’ could be heard. Many of the gifts were handmade clothing: a scarf, a sweater, an afghan, or a dress, a cap, or shirt for the fellas.

Eventually the family dispersed to do whatever they wanted or needed to do. The Grown Ups were busy preparing the Christmas dinner for the afternoon. The children decided to venture outside to chase around and run and scream.

The holiday came to a close...

The next morning, almost before the rooster crowded, the three little sisters crawled into the back seat of their car and headed home. On the way home, laughing and chatting filled the automobile as it traveled the familiar highways back to our home.The girls especially were filled to overflowing with the fun of the last few days.

Have you learned to embrace each day and celebrate the gift that each day offers?

  • I am working on it.
  • No. I just don't think it is possible to do that when I have so many problems.
  • Yes and it has turned my life around.
See results without voting

Hello, Cow


One of the little children crawled through the barbed wire fence to get a better look at the cow she saw. The other children were running around, chasing and shouting, generally having so much they did not notice the little girl had wandered off. That little girl was me..four years old...wandering off to explore.

Meandering farther and farther inside of the fence calling, ‘Hey, Cow. Come here, Cow, so I can pet you.’ Closer and closer I moved. The Cow noticed me now. That Cow decided it did not want to share the pasture with me, not even one tiny section of it.

It scraped at the ground and shook its head furiously and moved with a gallop toward me. By this time, the others noticed where I was and in trouble.

‘Run, run,’ they shouted to me as they rushed to the fence and tumbled through the barbed wire to rescue me. I did run as fast as my stubbly little legs would carry me crashing into the arms of my sister. She literally threw me between the strands of barbed wire to safety. Just as quickly, she made her way through right behind me just in time.

The cow was now panting furiously just on the other side of the fence.

We were scolded harshly and reminded we had been warned to stay out of the pasture. As you might have guessed, the cow was not a cow.... It was a bull. A bull who was not feeling the whole Christmas spirit thing. He did not wish to share his pasture with anyone!!

The adults fussed at me for a bit as I had not listened!!! Lesson learned: stay out of that pasture. .

After chasing each other around the property a few thousand more times, checking the hen houses for fresh eggs, and becoming totally frozen from trying to make snowballs out of the light dusting of snow that had fallen overnight, it was time to go inside to thaw out hands and feet.

The afternoon passed quickly. The children had been enlisted to set the dining room table which had been covered with the stark white, crocheted table cloth their Great Grandmother had made many years ago.

More than enough food was brought to the table. What must have been on the table was a bounty: Roast beef, Virginia ham, baked chicken, candied yams, green beans, lima beans, mountains of mashed potatoes, country gravy, biscuits, and those melt-in-your mouth rolls.

No one really remembers what was served because it was not about the food this meal. It was having this time, once again, to be together to re-energize spirits, catch up on family happenings, share time and space with no schedule, no other place to be. It happened this way once a year. That was food for the soul.

No one knew at this time that a little girl would be lost to them forever in a few short months.

There is some kind of a sweet innocence in being human- in not having to be just happy or just sad- in the nature of being able to be both broken and whole, at the same time.

— ~C. JoyBell C.

My Daddy ...fourteen years later...he found his joy again...

Source

Birthday party

Several weeks after returning home from celebrating the holday,Mary Jane celebrated her ninth birthday. The children in her class had been invited to her birthday party. Children were outside playing. Her Mother was serving finger sandwiches to them when she noticed the 'guest of honor' was no where around. She asked the children if they knew where she was and no one seemed to know. She called and called and looked and looked. Still no Mary Jane.

Something told her mother to look for her in the front bedroom that she shared with her sister. And, even though she thought she may be in her room, she was somewhat surprised when that was where she found her. There she was...In bed. She quickly moved over to the little dark-haired child.

'Honey, why are you in bed in the middle of your party?'

That precious little girl, with the beautiful,brown, doe eyes, looked up at her and said, "O, Momma, I have such a headache. Can I just lay her for a little while?"

Momma went back to the party. Mary Jane did not.


Zoar Battist Church was filled to overflowing with these beautiful flowers...

Source

Friends came to remember her....

Our town was tiny and everyone knew our family so the church was filled so that many stood in the aisles and the back of the church.. Among the many loving friends and family who came to celebrate her life were all of her classmates.

Years later I saw the guest book that had been signed by those who came to honor her. On several pages of the book were line after line of the names of those classmates written in their childish script.

I hope they left that day feeling as I did---without sorrow or fear. I would miss her but I was not overcome with sadness This introduction to the death of someone I loved so much was handled in a way that kept the enormity of it from me.

Celebrating a short life lived so well.

That was the last birthday the little girl would celebrate. Just a few short weeks later, my Momma took her to the doctor with another headache. .

When Momma took her to the doctor, he had her transported to the Medical College of Virginia, in Richmond, seventy five miles away. A brain tumor was found. Surgery was performed but she did not survive. Mary Jane came home to the small town to be buried.

Precious little Mary Jane was buried in a stark white satin dress that my Momma had sewn for her. As she made that dress, each stitch increased the sadness she felt but it was a task she must complete.

She looked like an angel as her tiny body lay there in the coffin, her chestnut brown hair gently arranged beside her cheeks. My Daddy held me in his arms so I could see her face one more time.

I was not sad, not afraid. My sister looked like she was sleeping. Daddy told me she would not be coming home, "She has gone to be with the other angels. Wave good bye to her," he whispered to me.

Mother, Daddy, and Me....

Fifteen years later, we would embrace each other and keep our joy
Fifteen years later, we would embrace each other and keep our joy | Source

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

— Kahil Gibran

It was important to feel the pain...

Kahil Gibran said it so well in the quote shown on this page. We weep for the joy that came from loving those who are now departed from us. It is not sadness after all ....it is missing the richness of life that came from their walk with us on the planet. In times of sadness and death of someone I have loved deeply, I had to feel the pain, to acknowledge their passing was a loss to me, but then when calm settled over me, I realized it was the joy their life brought to mine that caused me to weep.

My Momma was deeply saddened as any mother would be when little Mary Jane died. . She felt she should have known. She thought she should have realized when the little girl dropped the toilet paper at Christmas time; when she had a headache at her birthday party...she should have known that something was seriously wrong with her child.

A little bit of my Momma died that day too. I can so understand her pain now that I have a daughter who has terminal cancer.

Momma did not remain in that place though. She had to grieve...that was how she emptied her pain into the universe. She became a new best version of herself and continued to give of herself lovingly and completely to each of us in her life.

A few weeks after Mary Jane's death, Dr. Felton, our family doctor telephoned my Momma. He told her that it would not have mattered if Mary Jane had received medical care sooner. The brain tumor she had was very aggressive and the effects of it were unstoppable . He just wanted Momma to know that.

Teresa and Patti...many years later

Source

Dawning of a new day...another chance to grab onto life and GO....

on our cruise in 2012
on our cruise in 2012 | Source

Every single minute of every day is a gift.

Christmas in the country the year Mary Jane died would be one that brought the family closer together.

Each Christmas after that we hugged a little longer and spoke a little kinder.

We all learned that life is tentative. We little ones had seen our pets die so we did have some idea about death. The death of a person was new to us though.

It was at this time that we how life worked began to settle over us. Our little girl lost was an entry way into that new level of understanding.

Could it be that life is a gift and is fragile? Could our young minds begin to wrap our heads around that?? It is surprising what young ones do grasp.

I do not know that it was the beginning of a belief that follows me still:

Do not miss T O D A Y. Love each other with your best love every day.

It is a theme you will find in most of my writing.

Sadness did creep in for a time and settled over the family like an unwanted, unexpected blinding snowstorm. As it came, it passed. The effects lingered but the joy that my sweet sister, Mary Jane, had brought to our family far overshadowed the sadness.

I am thankful to this day that I was introduced to death in a way that did not leave me overwhelmed with sadness and fear.

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Comments 43 comments

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

thanks for your kind words Nadine. You know I still miss her. I know she would have grown to be a best friend like by sister is who is seven years older than I am. But I am blessed that even at my young age she was in my life.


Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

I read your whole story about your happy childhood, and felt the sadness about the departure of your little sister Mary Jane. Thank you for sharing. Voted up and beautiful.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Good morning Peggy

So sorry to be so long in getting back to you....but I am here now.

I wonder sometimes about sweet Mary Jane. What a wonderful sister she would have grown up to be. I am so blessed to have one sister who is very close in age to me that I adore and who returns that adoration.

thank you so much for taking the time to add such carefully chosen remarks.

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi KoffeeKlatchGals first I apologize for taking so long to respond. As with most families, many things are happening and I do not have as much time as I would like to have and I am writing on another site as well.

I am deeply moved by your remarks...this story has been a part of me since I was that tiny little girl whose sister went to heaven so many years ago.

Angels are on the way to you this morning and thank you again....ps


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 2 years ago from Sunny Florida

You have such a beautiful way of writing. You draw a person in with the fist word and keep them captive until the last. By the time I finished reading this awesome piece of work I was emotionally invested in the story. This was a beautiful memorial to a much loved sister.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

This was so beautifully written and detailed about that last very special Christmas shared with your family and leading up to your sister's last birthday party and death. Your life has been touched so many times because of cancer and yet your attitude regarding embracing every moment we have in this life is an inspiration to countless others. Blessings and hugs to you! Up votes, tweeting, G+, pinning and sharing.

Hope you contact me if you and your sister come to Houston! :)


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Awww how sweet .....I treasure the memories and am so blessed to be so close to my sister (shown with me at the bottom of this article.) Sadly I am not as close to my eldest sister but do speak with her on the phone and visit as often as I can.

Thank you for your kind words and know that Angels are on the way to you ps


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

This was a lovely story and a beautiful tribute to your dear sister, PS. It is a wonderful thing to embrace every day and be thankful for all the little things that mean so much. Your description of the Christmas preparation and tree decorating could have been right out of our family. We had the fragile glass ornaments, the flame shaped ones, the goodie filled stockings - in fact, in your three sisters photo, you look like you could be my long, lost identical twin... same hair, same bangs, same smile. Amazing photos and touching story. I'm so glad I found it today. Blessings. Peg


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

That is so true, Shyron It IS how others make us feel that leaves us with a lasting impression.

More Angels are on the way to you this evening. ps


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Thank you for the Angels Patti. It is not what you say or do that make people remember you, it is the way you make people feel.

Blessings to you.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

You are so welcome Shyron

She was an amazing child and it surprises me I remember her goodness and awesome qualities all of these years later.

Angels are on the way to you. ps


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Dear PS, I can't see very well through, my tears, this touched me so deeply. And this tribute to your sister is so beautiful I can't help but cry.

Blessings and (((((Hugs))))) to you

Thank you for sharing Mary Jane's life with us, I am glad I finally found it.

Shyron


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi DDE

Yes, sometimes it is a good thing to assess and think about our lives, isn't it?

We all grew and learned to appreciate each other so much more because of this sweet little girl. Thank you for stopping by... ps Angels are on the way ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi DDE

Yes, sometimes it is a good thing to assess and think about our lives, isn't it?

We all grew and learned to appreciate each other so much more because of this sweet little girl. Thank you for stopping by... ps Angels are on the way ps


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Amazingly thought of hub on Life Lessons: Little Girl Lost gets me thinking of life too


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Good morning again, Joy,

I am reminded of the fact that each day is truly a gift because my precious daughter is so sick and so is my grandson. So I have learned to embrace every day!!

I would not have wished this walk on anyone but we have learned what to really value in this life.

Thank you again for stopping by.

More Angels are on the way to you and your family. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Good morning again, Joy,

I am reminded of the fact that each day is truly a gift because my precious daughter is so sick and so is my grandson. So I have learned to embrace every day!!

I would not have wished this walk on anyone but we have learned what to really value in this life.

Thank you again for stopping by.

More Angels are on the way to you and your family. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Yes, Joy, I can so identify with the loss of your Mother...she was my mother who molded and shaped my life and as I grew into adulthood she became a dear dear friend too. Losing her was painful and gutwrenching but as with the death of my Daddy, a new day did come.

Thank you for visiting. Angels are on the way to you and yours. ps


JoyLevine profile image

JoyLevine 3 years ago

Just as an added note, writing, over the years, has been my therapy. It has been one of the ways I can get the emotion out, since I am not as good with verbal communication. I am in the process now of writing a book about my experiences with my mother as a caregiver. I took care of her faithfully for 13 years and it is an experience where words tend to fail. The loss was the greatest of my life. She was more than my mother, she was my friend, my confidant, and my every day companion for39 years. When you're a caregiver, your whole world revolves around the person's life. You hardly know what you are without them anymore. You lose your own identity. And yet, for her I can write.

The loss of my father, to an inoperable brain tumor unexpectedly (he was diagnosed in 1998 [and he was healthy as a horse, not even a cold or a flu in 12 years] was incomprehensible. From the time of diagnosis, he was given 6 - 9 months. He was gone in 4 and a half months.

It has been the one thing I cannot write about. Not for lack of emotion, or for trying... but it's so hard, hits so close to home. There was no warning, no inkling... everything changed in an instant, a moment of time.

As humans, we live carefree for so much of our life... not caring or worrying about anything, until the moment arrives, (and in inevitably does for all of us, regardless of when), that moment when reality hits, when we realize we are not invincible, we are ... simply human. We are subject to all the laws, and we feel all the consequences. We are human, after all. A bitter pill to swallow, at times. And yet, life remains, so sweet, doesn't it?


JoyLevine profile image

JoyLevine 3 years ago

You're right. Each day is a gift. We should live each day to the fullest, because our lives can change in a moment, an instant of time. Everything in the world as we know it can be gone in a millisecond... Every single precious second, is a gift. We should cherish every moment we have.

Beautiful article.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Good morning, Dear Sweet Faith

You know, I do miss her still. But I feel some degree of connection to her as I do with my Momma when I am out in nature working in the soil with my plants. Momma and MJ loved plants and all things nature so much that I am deeply aware of both of them when I see the beauties in nature or when I am taking care of them.

I am so blessed to know you , Faith. HubPages has brought so many amazing and precious people into my life and YOU are one of them.

Angels are on the way to you again this morning It is always so good to see you stop by. ps :)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

After I had commented, I tried my best to share to Pinterest, and it kept saying "Whoops" ? Will return and try again sweet friend.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Oh, my goodness . . . this is a phenomenal tribute here dearest PS. Very heartrending and lovely beyond any words here as to your beautiful sister, Mary Jane. This superb write straight from your loving heart, has the tears flowing so!

I know you miss her so much. What a tremendous loss you have suffered and I know there is not a day that passes you do not think of Mary Jane.

Thank you for sharing your heart in such a profound manner here.

I am so sorry I am just now reading this superb write now. And now that I am here, I have received a blessing from reading.

Angels are on your way sweet friend and tons of hugs too,

Faith Reaper


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Pearl

It is so nice to see you today.

Mary Jane was one in a million and I just had to share her with everyone. Our lives are so blessed when we know someone who touches our lives forever.

Thank you so much for your kind words. Angels are on the way ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Pearl

It is so nice to see you today.

Mary Jane was one in a million and I just had to share her with everyone. Our lives are so blessed when we know someone who touches our lives forever.

Thank you so much for your kind words. Angels are on the way ps


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

ps, I don't believe I have ever read a sweeter tribute to a sister who has passed this way, and is now gone. But what a precious legacy she left behind for your whole family. You are right about the gentleness with which her death was dealt; and that you were not made to feel overwhelming sadness at her passing. That is such a special gift in and of itself.

Thank you for sharing not only your beautiful sister's story, but the family holiday story. Strength comes from deep within the family, and lovely traditional family gatherings serve to strengthen the bonds, and the souls.

I wish you a peaceful and loving day ;) Pearl


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Pamela

You are so right. Begin each day being thankful. We all have so much to be thankful for and sometimes take things for granted.

Thank you for your kind words and thoughtful comment. Know you are thought of fondly and that Angels are on the way to you . ps


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States

The loss of a precious nine year old is such a sad story. I try to begin each day with gratitude and prayer. It seems the day goes better that way. I like Mother Teresa's words as if you just focus on this day the you are not fretting over yesterdays or worrying about tomorrow. Thanks for sharing this experience. Beautiful hub. Sending you angels this morning. God Bless.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

This sweet tribute to your sister, Mary Jane, is a masterpiece, Patricia. Thank you for sharing your loving as well as painful memories with your readers. I do feel your pain, m'dear, since I lost my youngest son when he was 28. May angels always be with you.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Jackie

I know. I have often wished that I could talk with the grown up Mary Jane. I have no doubt she would have become even more special as the years passed.

I am only blessed that I was old enough to understand that she was a treasure even at a young age.

Thanks for visiting.

Angels are on the way ps :)


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Jackie

I know. I have often wished that I could talk with the grown up Mary Jane. I have no doubt she would have become even more special as the years passed.

I am only blessed that I was old enough to understand that she was a treasure even at a young age.

Thanks for visiting.

Angels are on the way ps :)


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Maggie

Thankful is what I am that I learned a hard lesson so early but so gently. Thank you for your kind words, Maggie. I can only imagine losing your father at such a young age would be so very hard.

Angels are on the way to you this afternoon. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Maggie

Thankful is what I am that I learned a hard lesson so early but so gently. Thank you for your kind words, Maggie. I can only imagine losing your father at such a young age would be so very hard.

Angels are on the way to you this afternoon. ps


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

So very heartbreaking to read about your dear little sister. I am sure she must be in your thoughts so much. She will be nine forever and that makes it sadder I am sure. Thank you for sharing.


Maggie Bennett profile image

Maggie Bennett 3 years ago from New York

Wow! What a great read. As for the lessons we can learn from losing a love one mine was a bit different, but taught me a similar lesson. My Dad died when I was nine and that is how I learned the lesson that you reinforced once again for me today.

I would say I mirror everything Kathryn Stratford wrote. What a touching piece. Have a fabulous weekend.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you, Kathryn Telling this story brought it back to me...as new and fresh as if it were just yesterday. Mary Jane has remained a part of our lives even though she left us so many years ago. Your kind words are humbling.

Have a lovely day...Angels are on the way to you ps


Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

PS, this is such a beautiful story, from start to finish. The whole Christmas story introduced your family to us, and made all of you feel familiar, so that when you introduced the event that we knew would happen, we really felt it. At least that's how I felt. The whole message you tell about the joy a life brings overshadowing the pain of loss is dynamic.

Thank you for sharing this story with us. You really are a spectacular writer!

Voted up and across (except for funny), and sharing.

Have a wonderful weekend!

~ Kathryn


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you peachpurple for stopping by. Please do not feel sorrow for me and my family. I have found THE JOY. There was a time when I had not and was lost in a sea or pain and sorrow. Gradually I found my way out of that dark place and have learned to embrace each new challenge as a way to make be stronger and wiser and more powerful Angels are on the way to you this afternoon. ps :)


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you peachpurple for stopping by. Please do not feel sorrow for me and my family. I have found THE JOY. There was a time when I had not and was lost in a sea or pain and sorrow. Gradually I found my way out of that dark place and have learned to embrace each new challenge as a way to make be stronger and wiser and more powerful Angels are on the way to you this afternoon. ps :)


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

very touching story. I almost broke into tears when i read the whole story. I feel sorry for you. Voted beautiful


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Good morning Bill

Thank you for your kind words. I am so blessed to know you and to have your support. Blessings, Angels, and hugs are on the way back to you this morning :) ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Good morning Bill

Thank you for your kind words. I am so blessed to know you and to have your support. Blessings, Angels, and hugs are on the way back to you this morning :) ps


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

I began my day with a touch of beauty from PS....and what a lesson for all to learn. Thank you so much for sharing what was a painful moment but which, in the end, is a beautiful memory and lesson.

blessings always with a hug for good measure

bill

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