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Remember, remember, the fifth of November

November 5, 2010

I’ve been feeling out of sorts lately.  I know I’m tired and crabby.  Getting up multiple times at night with a teething baby will do that to you.  I also have an orchestra concert Saturday night and I scheduled my cello students’ recital this week.  I know that’s made me feel a little stressed (especially since I spent most of my free time last week sewing rather than practicing.)  But there’s also been a familiar little ache in my heart as well and that’s when I remembered: it’s November.

“Remember, Remember the fifth of November.”  We learned that line in a poem a few years ago from Story of the World, and it was going through my head this morning.  I always remember the fifth of November.

15 years ago today, my little sister passed away.

I know I’ve shared this before on this blog, but in rereading it, it says much of what has been going through my mind the past few days as I’ve been remembering.  And I’m too worn out to come up with any new words today.

From an essay my mother wrote from my point of view when I was about 4 1/2:

“My Sister is Different”

I have a little sister.  Her name is Rebekah.  She is three years old.  But she can’t walk by herself yet.  She just walks holding onto furniture.  If there is no furniture to hold on to, she crawls on her hands and knees.  She can’t talk yet either.

I’m not sure if we knew at that point that she would never be able to walk or talk, and I know that my parents had no idea that the three children to follow Rebekah would all have the same genetic condition that she did, and would all be handicapped.  I was actually the “different” one in the family. :)

Rebekah was always my buddy.  I’d cart her around, play dress-up with her, try to include her in all of my imaginative adventures.  It continued to taking her to girls’ camp with me as well as to Young Women’s every Sunday at church.  I even had her come stay with me for a few weekends while I was living at BYU.  She never said much, but she was my best friend.

My sister wants to be just like me.  If I climb up to the top bunk she cries until Mama lifts her up next to me.  If I color in my coloring book I have to get her one too.  Whenever I brush my teeth she waits for me to put toothpaste on her toothbrush.  Then she sucks on it and plays in the water.  When I read story books she sits next to me and looks at hers upside down.

I’m now the one that wants to be like my sister.  She taught me so much–about patience, service, kindness, unconditional love, and that if you drool a lot, you should always wear patterned shirts.  We wonder if some day she’ll ask us why we stopped giving her chocolate cake. :)

She passed away during my senior year at BYU.   It was Sunday, November 5.  Mom and Dad came to my apartment to break the news and to drive me home.

From my journal–

I was really peaceful this morning as we drove home. . . I really am happy though.  I think of all the things Rebekah can do now.  She can run and jump and talk and sing and laugh and play.  I think she will play the piano.  She can know everything now.

She weighed 30 pounds when she died, but she didn’t look so skinny and bony (at the viewing).  She truly was more beautiful than ever. . . I was left alone with her while they (Mom and Dad) went home for the other kids.  There was such a sweet, peaceful spirit there with me when I was alone.

15 years…

The years are flying by, and yet it almost feels like yesterday.  There are days when I wish I had a sister here with me so badly.  I feel so lonely and long for a sister, a good friend, someone to call and talk to and share things with.  Of course if Rebekah were still here, she wouldn’t be able to call me and chat anyway.  She never did have much to say.  I remember in church when I was a teenager, we’d have testimony meetings with all the youth.  Brother Harris always asked if Rebekah had anything she wanted to share.  I’d look at her sitting quietly in her wheelchair and say, “No, not today.”  (We probably would have died of shock if she did!)

I wonder what she could tell me now.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 6, 2010 12:54 pm

    Hugs to you yesterday on the 5th and always in the future!

  2. Linda permalink
    November 7, 2010 4:05 pm

    Just…hugs. What a special and wonderful big sister you were to a special and wonderful little sis.

  3. November 10, 2010 2:51 pm

    Thank you for sharing that beautiful post about your sister.

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