Wednesday, December 8, 2021

The Year of Firsts

I posted back in June, my only sister passed away fairly unexpectantly. She was five years older than me and in her early 70s, we had A LOT of time together, I am very blessed for that. It's still a huge change in my life though…


As we are nearing the end of 2021, and with all of the holidays surrounding us, her absence from my life is weighing heavily on my mind. This is what I call the "Year of Firsts" — it's the FIRST time that I am doing things differently, doing things without her presence. Although I will always be sad that she isn't here, the "next time" becomes a little bit more normal.


We lost our parents in 1977 and 1979 and we had each other for support during the years of firsts (and yes, Thank G-d, we also had our husbands who were total rocks for us). As our own young families grew, we spent many, many Thanksgivings together taking family pictures and torturing our kids along the way, lol. As our own children got older and had their own homes, we didn't have the dinners together, but my sis and I often spent A LOT of time on the phone "cooking together"… this year I didn't have that.


I began to think about the upcoming New Year's Eve and how every year we would be on the phone together within minutes of the ball drop in Times Square. That phone call will be missed this year. Her first birthday since she is gone and all the holidays since have been painful reminders that she isn't here, everything was a first. I know that even after the first anniversary of her passing there will still be so many poignant moments, but I will have gotten through it once already.


It's not that I am strong, but I do remember all the wonderful years I had with her and all of our memories. I am in the process of writing MY memories down because with my parents and now my sister gone, I'm the only one with ALL of those memories. (And as my daughter said to me, it's a GREAT opportunity for me to put MY spin on everything!) My memories and my blessings are what will get me through.


I had my sister in my life for 67 years, a lifetime of secrets, laughter, compassion, sharing, joys and just simple talks. I have my brother (in-law), her husband, who has known me since my teen years and has become more of a brother than an in-law. I have my sister's sons and their families in my life. My husband and our children and their mates got to know her. And I have many little tidbits of advice she gave me (she not only loved to tell me what to do, but she was also a psychologist) that will remain with me forever.


While I still shed tears, sometimes more often than I want to admit, I also realize how fortunate I've been to have had ALL the people in my life that have been here — and I am truly so fortunate to have had such a wonderful friendship with my sister.


I am halfway through the "Year of Firsts", I'm going to make it.


Bobi, I will always love you.

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