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My Sister Cathy

Updated on June 19, 2013
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Cathy Marie (Barrett) Devore; my little Sister! Fifty years ago today, May 21st, you were born into this world; one year and ten days after me.

As years go by and we move on with our lives, it’s easy to forget the bond that we shared growing up. More than a half century has passed now, but I still remember our childhood…and it will forever be engrained in my heart.

So much alike were we that I became accustomed to people asking if we were twins. We grew up side by side; taking our first steps, speaking our first words. You were my first best friend; you were the first girl that I ever loved; we shared bedrooms growing up; bunk beds, guest beds, couches, and pallets at grandparents and families houses. We laughed together, we cried together, we hugged each other when we were afraid, we held hands as we walked to the bus stop together, and we stared into each other’s eyes with eager anticipation on Christmas Eve as we waited for Santa to arrive. We shared each other’s most intimate secrets and fears. We argued and fought like siblings do, but god help anyone who messed with my little sister on the school ground and god help even more so the poor boy who picked a fight with me, because whenever they did, you could hear Cathy coming like a freight train.

Yes, we grew up and went on with our lives; we each married, had children; grandchildren, and the years and added family drew us farther apart. I moved across the country and the relationship grew even dimmer. But still, through hardships and distance, every time I would come home you would make your way to Moms house, and as my daughter, Beth, put it, you always knew when Cathy arrived because the door would burst open and she would yell, “Where’s my Brother?”

And so, I wanted to remember you today and say, “Happy Birthday Sis!” Last year there was a surprise party thrown for my fiftieth…and it breaks my heart that you will not be able to share the same experience.

My soul is torn today, because my little sister should be celebrating her birthday, but on October 31st, she was taken away. I feel pain and I feel guilt. I know there is nothing I could have done, but I am her big brother…her protector…and when I watched them take her off of life support, I felt helpless!

People have offered their sympathies and said nice things and I know they will continue to do so. Yes, I understand all the thoughts about her spirit being with me, and seeing her again one day, and her being in a better place, but that doesn’t make me feel any better at the moment. I guess that is why I wrote this; I just wanted to vent, to express, to mourn in my own way, and remember her the way she would want me to remember her. Yes, I am angry, I am very fucking angry! And Cathy, I know you would smile when I speak this way.

It is my sister’s birthday today. I love her, and I miss her. My heart has been literally broken, and been repaired with metal implants. But now it is broken again.

The Tin Man finally got his heart, but when he lost Dorothy he said, “Now I know I have a heart, because it is breaking.”

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    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, Dearest Wayne,

      I am crying tears too after reading this beautiful share here straight from your heart. 50 is too young and you're right, she should be having a celebration 50th birthday party!I have no words precious heart, except that you are a good brother and your sister knows this. I am sending a big old southern hug and gentle kiss your way south from me to you.

      Hugs and love, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A beautiful tribute. There is nothing else to say. :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      my goodness what a tribute.. I guess sharing this story really must have taken a lot out of you..but I'm so glad you did..:) Frank

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Wayne, this is so sad and so well written at the same time. It is intensely personal, this anger of yours, and justified too. I was the youngest of four, three sisters and me 14 years later. I never had that close growing up with a sibling experience. It must have been very special the way you write it.

      Condolences are not much really, but you have them, from me, from the heart.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 3 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      Sharing is truly the best way to remember. We all have those we want to remember and I would like to wish her a Happy Birthday.

    • Theater girl profile image

      Jennifer 3 years ago from New Jersey

      So very beautiful. So very sorry for you loss. But I know somehow, she has seen this or knows it exists and is smiling. Blessings to you ;)

    • bizarrett81 profile image

      bizarrett81 3 years ago from Maine

      I cannot imagine the pain you must feel losing a sister, but I know it greives me to remember my aunt the way you describe her. I wish I could have said goodbye and also wish she could celebrate her fiftieth. I also wish I could hug you today more than most days. I love and miss you and Happy Birthday to Cathy, wherever you are.

    • April Cote profile image

      April Cote 3 years ago

      Beautiful and heartbreaking...I love you and miss you very much Aunt Cathy...

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Am sorry for your great loss. A great tribute. Your sister must be reading this and smiling.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 3 years ago from TEXAS

      I was smiling at the relationship and sweetness as I read, but now I'm crying. I empathize, dear friend. How beautiful that you have those vivid precious memories of your Cathy. Hugs.

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 3 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Wayne, this hit home...... Your story is so similar to my own. My brother and I, he was the younger one. He passed away 6 years ago .... suddenly.... No warning nothing! He hadn't even reached the age of 40. Six years later, I still can't accept it! You would never know how much Your story touched my heart.

      Writing through tears....... Hugs

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Faith:

      Billy:

      Frank:

      Jim:

      Becky:

      Jennifer:

      Nithya:

      Nellieanna:

      LaThing;

      I appreciate all of your kind words, and I know for some of you this had to pull at some personal heart strings. Thank you, and I am sending hugs from my way as well.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Beth, I wish I could be with you guys as well. I love you very much!

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you April. I saw that you shared this on FB and I'm sure the boys appreciate that. Love you!

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 3 years ago from New York

      Wayne, I was crying, real tears, the first sentence. I knew how touching this was going to be coming into it. You're deep love and appreciation for your sister is well-known and the incomparable loss and heartache is felt by all who love you. I know this love... and there is and will never be another like it. I know we're not supposed to talk about "fairness" but it doesn't seem fair! Any sister would be blessed to have a brother like you and the love you have for Cathy is beautiful and you made the days of her life more rich than anyone ever could. In some way, she must be here with you, and there will be another day when you will come together again.

      A beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman and sister! Much love and to both of you and your family.

      Cat

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Wayne, my heart breaks with you and for you.

    • James-wolve profile image

      Tijani Achamlal 3 years ago from Morocco

      Words, however kind, can't mend your heartache: but those who care and share your loss wish you comfort and peace of mind. May you find strength in the love of family and in the warm embrace of friends. With my deepest sympathy.

      James!

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I'm so sorry, Wayne. Thank you for sharing your heartbreaking story.

      Hang in there, neighbor.

    • profile image

      Lesleysherwood 3 years ago

      I agree with Bill. You have said it all.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Cat:

      Sha:

      James:

      Liz:

      Lesley:

      Thank you my friends. Having someone that you know understands your method of release is a comfort.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon 3 years ago from Texas

      I'm going to cry, and I don't do that often, especially from reading something! Can't really say more. . .

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Wayne a great tribute and a sad thing to go through. I know that losing someone hurts and that the memories are always there. Go out on a star filled night and when you see the brightest , twinkling star blow a kiss to her. Hugs and God bless.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Awe, man, Wayne, that is so horrible that you lost your best bud. I don't have any siblings, so I never experienced any of the things that you mentioned.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Shanmarie:

      Rasma:

      Deb:

      I appreciate the lovely sentiments from you lovely ladies. Bless you.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 3 years ago

      i am sobbing, wayne! i sooo envy you your childhood and your first best friend and your growing up knowing someone always had your back and vice versa.

      BUT - i cannot bear that she is gone and that you feel not only bereft but guilt! Please please do what you can to lose the guilt ! The memories will be bittersweet forevermore, but - omg - how lucky were you to have had her in your life for nearly 50 years!

      Happy Birthday Cathy Marie - you will never be forgotten!!

      I so wish i could hug you today Wayne - i can almost feel the weight of your heart ..

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Leslie, I feel bad that I have made so many weep, but I think sometime it is just as good for the soul as laughter. I did get it out of my system and I do not hold bitterness. Two months before Cathy passed, we got to sit together and talk, and we hugged and told each other that we loved one another. I am so grateful that I was able to do that before we lost her. Guilt is just a natural big brother emotion; but love is even stronger!

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 3 years ago

      HUGSXX

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Hi Wayne, Loss is never easy. I've lost two brothers many years ago. Time has flown by , but not a day goes by that I don't think of them. Continue to keep your sister's memories alive is my best advice. Not that you asked for my advice, but I thought I would share it anyway.

      Keep on smiling, even when it's impossible to do! :)

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Linda, thank you very much for your kind thoughts, and I do appreciate your advise. All we can do is hold their memories in our hearts and continue with life.

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