Sunday, February 28, 2010

Every Day Will Count

Thank you all so very much for your heartfelt thoughts, prayers, and words of condolence over the past week. The loss of my dear sister has been devastating to me and my entire family. Your words meant a lot.

My sister Barbara was 5 years younger than me, which disproves the theory "Older is wiser", as she taught me many life lessons through the years. Barbara taught me how important it is to define your dreams and then go and get them for yourself. She taught me that it was OK to pursue being happy with my life. She taught me to take care of myself first, so I could be the best mom possible for my children. She taught me what it means to be a friend through her ability to listen and care. She taught me what it means to be a sister through her love for me, Pam, Becky and Brenda. She taught me what it means to be a daughter through her abiding love and respect for our parents. She taught me what it means to be a mother through her willingness to do anything for her children. She taught me what it means to be an aunt through her caring for all her nieces and nephews.

Barbara's passing has left a rift in my family that will never be filled. I wish that I had spoken with her in the week before she died and told her how much I loved her. As it is, I must believe that she knows it somehow.

Please reach out to someone in your family today and tell them that you love them. You never know if it will be your last chance.

During the past week, I found the following passage written by Barbara in her journal. It was written sometime in 2000, the year she turned 39. It was read at her memorial service on Thursday, and I want to share it with you here.

"What can I say, but be true to you and you will never disappoint yourself.
Try to treat your children as you would see your perfect self behave.
Don't sell yourself short. Amazing things can happen - even at 39.
If you were to know that you would have your last year on earth - how would you live your life?
Don't settle.
Know that every day will count.
Go surf, ride the bike with the kids, plant a tree, put a fence in, put a hot tub in.
Try to make a difference for your children."

Rest in peace now, my beautiful sister. I love you.

18 comments:

LPC said...

So sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine.

Vix said...

Jody, what a beautiful tribute to your sister--and yet another beautiful photo of you two together. She sounds like she brought so much joy to those who were lucky enough to know her.

Wishing you and your family continued strength and peace.

Sheila said...

What a beautiful tribute to your sister. I am sure that she knew how much you loved her.

My dad died at 55, very suddenly, and I also missed that chance to have the last conversation with him. I, too, was left with the hard-earned lesson that you have to tell the ones you love how much they mean to you before it's too late.

I love your sister's words. They are an amazing insight to her wisdom.

Take care of yourself, and spread her love and wisdom.

Hug,
Sheila

puddin said...

Thank you Jody. Love Mom

Belle de Ville said...

I am so very sorry about the loss of you sister and I thank you for sharing with us what you learned from her.

Debi said...

What an amazing woman! I am sorry she was taken from this earth too soon!

fabulous finds said...

jody - so sorry for your loss...this brought tears to my eyes...beautifully written...and a wonderful tribute to your sister...

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

This is the first time I have visited your blog. I came to you via Bonjour Madame. I lost my only sister (only sybling) 32 years ago this month, so my heart really goes out to you. The difference is that she was two years older than I. There is not a day that goes by that I do not miss her to my core. She was my inspiration and best friend. She was only 28 when she passed and yet profoundly affected my life. I believe your sister knows how much you love her and I believe our sisters are watching over us and always will. Much love coming your way!

lucitebox said...

My heart goes out to you. I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt sentiments and Barbara's sage words of wisdom.

Suzy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suzy said...

Jody, I loved everything about your sister! My tears are the droplets of love she spread to so many~ We had Laguna Beach, Marin County and Sister Kathy in our journey together. We will all miss her. The joy of being blessed with Barb's friendship will be in my heart forever. Take good care and we all know our Sweet Angel Barb will be with us always~ With love ~Suzy

K.Line said...

What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful woman. I'm thinking of you and your family... K

lori said...

If she taught you that much, then you must have been a wonderful sister as well. I'm sure she was happy everyday that she had someone like you.

What's clear, Jody, is that you have a lovely and loving family. I am so sorry for your loss. Just know that all of us are enlarged when we encounter the power of loving relationships - even when it's vicarious. Your sister's life blossoms in the gestures to our loved ones that we engage in because of what you write. I'm struggling to say what I want to say here, I hope that makes sense. I just went upstairs to tell my husband how much I love him because of this blog post. And I'm sure that a lot of that will go one as people read what you write.

Jenifir said...

What amazing advice for life and how special a person to pass them on! I know that your family's loss is so great but it is beautiful to see how she touched everyone so much and continues to o so as you share stories and the things that she said and wrote.

Jo-Anne Redwood said...

Our prayers are with you and your family in your period of mourning and for the rift her absence leaves. Sincerest heartfelt condolences. I have a sister who is very dear to me and we cherish each other though do not see each other often enough.

Thank you for sharing your pain and your sister's words of wisdom. it makes one reflect on our daily lives and what we hold valuable.

Jim Carmichael said...

Dear Jody, I can not imagine how devastated you must feel. I also have two sisters through whose love and support I am even alive today. They are quite a bit older than Barbara was, and I can nmot imagine how we will sdurvive each other's loss. Your thoughts (and Barbara's) on living each day "as if" are a pertinent reminder of how precious our time here is. My thoughts and love are with you,
Jim

lula said...

From Europe: I "found" your blog few weeks ago, and now I am an avid reader of every post. I am very sorry for your loss, but was very moved by your sister's words, a beautiful tribute to her by sharing them with us. Thank you. Lula

Anonymous said...

As I re-read your wonderful blog, I am noticing in the picture that her dress was blue print--- and the dress (blouse) she had on at Bill's 80th celebrtion was blue print. P
erhaps wearing blue was her method of showing inner sadness, although she portrayed a smiling face (and beauty) to all of us. And how we miss her!!

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