On 2 August 2006, nightfall comes before 6 pm in Oz. Seems like the cloud cover has hidden the setting sun ... some kind of thievery is going on, I'm sure. Or else why would the sun want to slip away unnoticed?
This day is a rather special one in my world. My little sister, Joyce Eileen, an inveterate Leo, was born in 1946 on this day. I really don't remember. I was not living with my parents when she was born. Later, after my sister was born, they invited me back into their home, .
It was the end of a war. My father returned from France and England where he served as a supply sergeant in the American army. I remember pictures of his jeep, his motorcycle, his truck: all of which had my name imprinted on the 'bonnet'.
But, I don't remember the birth of my sister. I remember my first experience with her, though. It was in a bath tub where we were both bathing. There was a rubber mat on the bottom of the tub, and it was my job to be sure that she didn't fall over in the water. I suspect there wasn't much water in the tub. However, the reason I remember the incident with her is that she did begin to slip and my six year old self quickly tried to right her in the tub as she listed to the left.
Seems my parents were watching from outside the bathroom door. They saw me try to steady my little sis and thought for some reason that I was doing just the opposite - trying to pull her over.
So strange, adults - so very strange.
Of course, I was punished. And you know what that is like...being punished for trying to do what you believed to be right by someone who thinks that what you are doing is wrong.
That sense of injustice is what keeps the image so strong in my memory.
But, today, I realize someone else made a mistake cause my little sis is no longer part of my 'world'. She died of spinal menigitis in 1973 when she was only 28 years old. Her death can really be attributed to the doctor's over perscribing medcation for her lupus, a disease that had attacked her kidneys.
Nonetheless, I celebrate her addition to my world..I celebrate her love of her neice, my eldest child; I celebrate her beauty, her kindness, her tolerance of a world that sometimes made it very difficult for her to live.