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In Loving Memory – Debbie


It’s hard to believe
You are no longer here,
I think of you,
You feel so near,
In some small way, every single day,
Memories of you come my way.

Dear Debbie:

I can’t tell you how much I miss you. I miss our conversations, your laughter, and your sometimes witty, sarcastic, dry sense of humor.

There aren’t many days that go by, that I don’t wish I could pick up the phone and call you. There are so many things that I wish I could share with you. Do you remember the last personal conversation we had? I sure do. It was only a week before you “left” us.

We were laughing and reminiscing about how when I was in the Army, and the government had not approved the “budget” and I had to borrow $500 from you to pay my bills. You were the only family member that would loan me the money. Mom and dad who had loaned thousands of dollars to other family members to start businesses, or pay bills would not loan me a dime. I remember dad telling me “Out of all my kids; you are the one I know will make it”. I called you crying, frantic. I had a house payment and day care to pay for. You rescued me. You took a loan out on your credit card, got me the money, and saved the day. Of course you never let me forget that you were the one who ‘saved the day’. Even then we chuckled on the interest payment you charged (er.. paid in full by the way!).

We laughed so hard at the time you came in early in the morning with your boyfriend, ran on to the front porch where I was sleeping, grabbed the covers off me, laid on the couch next to me, and thirty seconds later dad came out and accused me of being out all night! Never occurred to him, it could have been you slamming the screen door. You were Debbie! Everyone knew Debbie did not cause problems!

I miss those conversations! Well, I miss the ones where you talk back to me. To be brutally honest; I still have conversations with you. Especially on nights where I am starring at the stars. I talk to you all the time. Remember in the attic on Goodman Street. I would stare out the window on those hot summer nights; looking at the stars, and you would ask what I was looking at……………I would reply, quite simple, “at the future”.
The conversation would progress from there……… the future! The hopes and dreams of two young siblings, wanting something better.

I am so sorry I missed your 50th birthday in New York. I am sorry I let work interfere with family. Unfortunately, it still does for the most part. Having a job, making enough money to support your family was instilled in us at an early age.

We did see each other that following Christmas. All the “girls’ were together. For that time I am grateful. I remember saying I wanted to take you to some of the places I was able to visit, and you told me you didn’t like to fly. I had to remind you, that you didn’t like to drive either, but you managed to finally do it!

Although you told me you understood that I missed your birthday, I know you were disappointed. Although you promised you would not miss my 50th………….. it wasn’t meant to be. I too was disappointed, and sad, and so mad because you were no longer here and we would never celebrate another birthday together. Oh fond memories of my 21st birthday in New York, and you taking me out. Well, I guess since you didn’t drive at the time, theoretically I took you out! But what a time we had!

So now, every trip I take, I take you with me. I show you the sights of places far and near. You are on every business trip I take; you are on every cruise I have been on. Everywhere I go, I place rose petals in the waters, and wait for your acknowledgement; whether it is a butterfly flying by, a dolphin or a whale swimming past; I know you are there. I have tasted the salty oceans in many places so you will know that they all taste the same. This because I remember your first trip to California, when you came back so excited that the ocean really did taste salty! No matter where my travels take me. No matter how silly people think it is, I taste each ocean for you, and I cry; wishing you were there.

I thank you so much for all your support when Ed was not doing well. I know it was difficult for you to be strong for me, but you were there. You were there for Ed, with your emails and phone calls long after I could have hoped for. I can’t thank you enough for that.

You left us way too soon Debbie, and left an already dysfunctional family in turmoil. In most respects, I am glad you were not here to see what happened after you left us. I know the actions of your family would have perplexed you beyond belief. I am not certain that even seven years later we have recovered, and that saddens me. Believe it or not, even your twin brother who finally got on a computer, will not acknowledge my screen name or recognize me as his sister. (could you put in a good word for me, as you had no problem with my name, even if it did vary from your nickname for me when I was 14 years old!)

Your heart was taken up by supporting a local animal shelter in the last years of your life. You knew how much that pleased me. (Even though as young children you hated my dog Shultz for chasing your cat Cuddles). At that time, you couldn’t understand my desire for helping stray animals. I was both amused and proud when you finally figured out, that those animals were not that different from us and how we were raised; wanting and needing love. Perhaps we bonded even more with that realization than we had even throughout the years.

I miss you more than I can ever put into words. I truly hope wherever you are, you are at peace, and maybe just now and then thinking of your family and how much they love and miss you.

7/5/1953 – 8/26/2004

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