We fought like cats and dogs when we were little. I don’t know why … we just did. However, if anyone hurt her feelings I was there immediately to defend or fight … whatever was needed. I wanted no one hurting my Annie. Children can be very cruel. In front of the twins classmates would ask me, which twin was smartest, prettiest, blah, blah, blah … That’s all it took. I started putting up my defenses preparing for battle.
Anne did not like Furman. We spent many a night in the basement of the girl’s dorm … Anne crying … me popping popcorn for her … and trying to watch whatever was on television. I did not like to see my Annie cry.
Anne and sister Fran, the twins, were and still are beautiful. The minute they walked into a room all eyes turned. Tall, thin, lovely brown eyes and hair, they embodied goodness inside and out. We three were good girls, smart, over-achievers, sure to succeed at life. We did.
Anne and Fran had their first baby girls nine days apart. Their due dates were the same. Fran had a son two years earlier. Anne had a son about a year later. Fran had another daughter two years later. They were loving, caring, mothers; they sacrificed for their babies because their family came first. I was so proud of my sister-mothers!
It’s hard to talk about them without talking about both of them … but I will try. Anne was quiet, smart, quick-witted, and talented. She attended the local fine arts school, studying jewelry making and modern dance; we now call it contemporary dance. Anne’s visual arts included painting, jewelry making, stained glass, collage, pottery, and a host of other mediums she later taught to her elementary students.
In and out of step with the rest of the world, Anne created a world uniquely her own. My parents’ estate is filled with her art work, I have two of her collages personalized for me. Everything she touched had Anne’s trademark style-simple, symbolic, and stunning.
In 1976 she did a painting of a knotted tree; it was old and gnarled; It was Daddy’s tree; Daddy was the tree. Three green leaves represented his three girls; three living, growing parts of himself. Three butterflies float above, representing their delicacy, growth, and freedom to fly away into their own lives. A kite snagged in one of the branches spoke of Daddy’s years as a small plane pilot; he sold the plane and became the grounded base our family needed for support and stability. An MG tire leaned against the base of the tree trunk; Daddy loved that lime green machine … that never worked. That too was abandoned. A swing hung from the tree; Daddy spent hours on the porch swing during our high school years; His need for peace and quiet was in no way imaginary, with three girls and a wife!
Sounds like all I was sharing was about Daddy; no, I want you to see Anne as a deep interpreter of life; she used her art to communicate her feelings about the world and her place in it. When she danced in her senior recital at the Fine Arts Center, I sat in utter amazement. Anne floated on and around the stage; every step, every fiber, every muscle, every pause told the story. The theme was a heart, represented by a black box; she could never leave this heart for long, always running back to touch, sit, or rest awhile with her heart. I remember thinking, “That’s my sister!” I couldn’t have been prouder; from then on I called Anne, ‘My Heart.’
I long to run back to Anne, sit, rest awhile, talk, laugh, giggle, just sit and be with each other. If she happened to get up to play the piano, I would be right by her side thrilled to sing with Anne; she played the piano beautifully!
I can’t run back, though. Anne has been gone from this world a year ago today, June third, the day she passed away from us; She joined my father and mother and grandmother who had all passed within the past five years. I know she is with them. I am sure she’s happy. God is laughing at all the funny things she says. Anne had a way of mixing up words.
I’m not scared to pass now; My immediate family will all be in heaven waiting there to greet me; My heart will be by the gate with that beautiful smile; her arms spread wide eager to show me around and hand-in-hand we run and skip along the paths of home, our home forever, a home from which I’ll never have to leave ‘My heart,’ again.
Dear Lord, I know Anne is with You. I’m so happy she is no longer in pain. My tears are not because of her pain any longer; I just miss her and my eyes leak when I long to talk with Anne, see her, be with her here on Earth. I have to wait; I don’t know how long; but You will wipe away these tears when Anne and I unite once again. Thank You, Dear Lord, for the hope of rejoining our loved ones; our faith is built on trust that You will reunite Your children. On that Glorious Day when all Your children have returned home and Your Kingdom will be complete! Amen
A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost. ~Marion C. Garretty
When sisters stand shoulder to shoulder, who stands a chance against us? ~Pam Brown
Sisters annoy, interfere, criticize. Indulge in monumental sulks, in huffs, in snide remarks. Borrow. Break. Monopolize the bathroom. Are always underfoot. But if catastrophe should strike, sisters are there. Defending you against all comers. ~Pam Brown
Siblings are one’s first playmates.
Oh Little Playmate, Come Out and Play With Me Author Unknown
Oh little playmate,
Come out and play with me
And bring your dollies three
Climb up my apple tree
Slide down my rain barrel
Into my cellar door
And we’ll be jolly friends
Forever more, more, more.
So sorry, playmate
I cannot play with you
My dolly’s got the flu
Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo
Ain’t got no rain barrel
Ain’t got no cellar door
But we’ll be jolly friends
Forever more, more, more.