For The Love Of a Sister: A Memorial
Sisters are someone special that God sent from above,
your confidant, your best friend, unconditional love.
Sisters are a gift to share your hopes and dreams,
to hear all your secrets, to share those special things.
Sisters are a treasure more precious than jewels or gold,
to be there with you always together growing old.
Sisters are the ones who care when no one else is around,
the one who is there to pick you up when your feeling down.
You've always been there for me in the worst and in the best,
GO IN PEACE MY DARLING SISTER
IN GOD'S SWEET ARMS FIND REST.
I love and miss you Dee, Gone too soon but never forgotten:
My memories of my sister Dedrae are many. They span from childhood to adulthood. Even though we had our ups and downs, she was my best friend as well as my baby sister.Dedrae passed away on Feburary 24th, 2011, after a devastating battle with cancer. She was 45. I never knew the pain I would suffer with her loss. I always thought it would be me who went first...I never imagined having to bury my baby sister or one of my children. She left behind her husband Ron and three children, Reena, Brittany and Larry. Also three grandchildren. Left behind are also many brothers, sisters, a mother and father and too many neices and nephews to name. each of us has suffered our own loss...it is different for each one of us. This is meant to be a memorial to her life ..not her death. I feel this is what she would have wanted.
Dee was born in Mississippi. At the time of her death she was 45. Neither her childhood nor life were easy. We were poor and did the best we could with what we had. She was the fifth child in a family of eight. She was tall, slim and beautiful. She was always quick to smile and to offer consolation to those in need of it. She was tendered hearted and a joy to those who knew her. The last years of her life were spent singing praises to the Lord and teaching the young children about him....this included my grandchildren. She was one of those special people that God puts on earth to guide the rest of us. Even when she was sick she would get up to cut my youngest grandaughters hair because she would only let "aunt dee" do it. She was a sunday school teacher and director of youth activties in our little country church in the dell. The first time I heard her sing in church and render a beautiful version of the old gospel song "The Lighthouse", I sat with tears streaming down my face. She sang the song "I Sure Miss You" at the funeral of my father in 2005 when he passed away. She was quick to help those who were less fortunate and I can't count the fundraisers she organized to pay a needy families bills or rent. She was truly an angel sent by God to walk among us .
Memories of Dee
Childhood in Mississippi is made up of many things, all of these and more I remember sharing with my sister Dee. The sweet smell of honeysuckle, picking plums, working in the garden, and walking down dusty dirt roads. I remember bending the small pine trees over to straddle them and ride them like horses....up and down. We swam in the various creeks and caught lighting bugs in jars to let go in our shared room, sometimes squashing them on our hands to see them glow. we played house, making mud pies and chasing each other through the high corn that grandpa planted every year. I haven't thought of these things for so many years until now. It's now that I realize just how precious those days were and how much you miss them when you suddenly look around and they are gone. We were thick as thieves, all eight of us would take a whipping before telling who the culprit was when we committed our childhood offenses. We didn't have money but i know now that we had something much more precious...Love.
The Last Goodbye
The last time I saw my sister Dee was on Mothers day of last year. I had not seen her since 2005 when I was in Mississippi and my father passed away. She called to tell me she would be in Dallas to see her daughters and since she had almost finshed cosmetology school she wanted to come by and cut and color my hair for mothers day. I was estatic and quickly made her up a little bath basket since mothers day was also her birthday. We talked and remembered memories from years ago, we discussed our problems and our joys. We talked about children and family, laughed, and cried. She cut off my long blonde hair and colored it a light brown like hers...my natural color. The time flew by and it was time for her to go, I walked her to her car, Held her close for a few minutes, told her I loved her and thanks for the new look, then watched with tears in my eyes as she drove away promising to come by and see me in may when her daughter was getting married. That was the last time I would see my sister alive.
A week later my mother called and told me Dee was really sick, she had a bad case of strep throat and was on antibiotics. She could hardly talk. After the antibiotics she didn't get any better and the doctors removed her tonsils. One came out okay, the other crumbled into pieces and was sent to be biopsed. The wait was a couple weeks...it was a time to pray and hope for the best. When the results returned my mother called me again and told me to sit down...Dee has throat cancer but they think they caught it in time. I was relived, I thought she would be okay. She would start chemotherapy and radiation the next week. Mississippi is the poorest state in the United States. It is near impossible to get medicaid there especially when you have no minor children, like Dee. Her husband does timber logging for a living and with Dee in school their earnings were meager at most. They mortaged their home, his work trucks and had fund raisers to pay for the treatments. Various ones in the family who could afford it donated money. The treatment was hell on her. She was so sick, her beautiful hair fell out and you could hear the pain in her voice even when she was trying to keep you from it. Within a few months the doctors thought she had it beat. We were happy for awhile.
During one of her followup visits the doctors told her they had found the cancer spread to her lungs...once again the pain and horror hit home. She returned to the chemo and radiation treatments. I didn't want to think about it or hear it. When my mom would try to call and talk to me about it, I made an excuse to go, I just couldn't stand to think about it. Then came the inevitable, the cancer spread throughout her body by the lymph nodes. She suffered one hospitalization after another, pain and agony...but through it all she remained strong for her family, always with a smile and a loving word of comfort. I called her a week before she left this world, she could barely talk. I was crying and told her I loved her and to please not leave me...she told me it would be okay and not to cry for her because she was going home to be with Jesus. A few days later the doctors sent her home to spend her last days. I didn't go home to see her ...I just wanted to remember her the way I last saw her, laughing smiling and beautiful.
The call came in at 10 minutes till three am on Febuary 25, 2011. I didn't answer the phone ...I knew she was gone. I lay in bed watching the phone ring and cried. In the following week the funeral arrangements were made... again I didn't attend. I couldn't bear to see her that way. She was laid to rest. I went outside to my little meditation garden and put a picture of her along with a cross, a lighthouse, a bouquet of roses and an angel on the tree. It would be my tribute, my final good-bye to the baby sister I loved so much. I love you Dee, now, always, and forever.