The embrace is cold, and the lower half of her body held so far away from mine a runnaway pram could scuttle through unoticed. Her eyes are black with sorrow and her soul holds no strength to warm anyone, not even me, her beloved sister. She has given too much already, lost too much and I can tell she wants to fall, right here on the grave, and never ever get up again. A soft tear of mine flows inside her ear as I whisper the words our Mother always said ‘Never give up’. But our mother succumbed to the fingers of death held out in an illusion of peace and rest, glistening diamonds like stars on each knuckle, beckoning a better place. My father went too, I wonder what they showed him to get him there, a Harley Davidson and him a young James Dean.
My sister’s husband now entombed. A gentleman, blighted with Parkinsons, at a way too early age, she had nursed him for 15 years til finally he said, no more my dear, make a life for yourself and take another man. Eventually she did, and with her two children and David, ironically the same name as her first, they shared a love which is rare and nursed him together through the worst. His children loved him still and always will. I loved him too in my own way, there was something very special about Dave, everyone did. And one day he declared with dignity, I have had enough, and held his arms aloft for death to take him too, flying his aeroplane in the RAF, gliding and circling above the triumphant crowd, full of life and health and love and that gorgeous smile.
And as more missiles hit my sister than is appropriate, I don’t know how she stands, there is pain loaded onto her and has been since she was 10. A fragile skinny blonde, with eyes the size of atmospheres, bluer than blue, and a sense of delight to enable her to hover above the surrounding gloom. She has given so much to so many, always and all her life. Gifted with iron girders for bones and liquid platinum for blood. An amazing sister, a mother and a wife, a daughter so sensitive she would have given her life instead of them. I seek to hold her up, but in reality I am not there, I am in Australia and she in the Isle of Man. 13 months apart we grew up entwined at every turn. Our little hands at 4 and 5 held onto one another and walked for miles and miles avoiding rubber bullets in the so called ‘Troubles’. I carry her heart in mine and know without question she has a light inside that shines stronger than the sun. If there are such things as Earth Angels, then surely she is one.
Sad things happen to so many people, and my family is no exception. I have an incredibly kind and brilliant brother and 3 wonderful sisters. One in particular has taught us all a lesson, although we did not always want to see it…………………