Monday, 16 September 2013 00:00

My Sister Mary

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My sister Mary died in February, 2012. She was taken from us by cancer at the young age of 66. The diagnosis was unexpected and sadly, her demise was swift - only 15 days from discovery to her passing. But my sister Mary was steely tough and I am sure that during those last days she gave cancer the fight of its life. When it took on Mary, it took on one formidable opponent, and although she lost the fight, she went down swinging. She died on Leap Day - February 29, 2012.

I loved my sister Mary but didn't quite understand her. I'm not sure why, but I suspect, for one, because there was thirteen years between us. And, she left home in the early sixties, at a very young age, so for nearly a decade I didn't see her much. But every now and then my mother would get a call, a letter or maybe a brief visit from her. And she was always doing fine. But I never got to know her very well.

In the 1970's she showed up on our doorsteps with a traveling companion she introduced only as "Blue". Blue was a big, surly, massive man with a huge Afro. He was a scary individual that Mary easily kept in line through her meaningful intimidation. There were few threats in her vernacular - only promises. So when "Blue" angrily glared at me one day, he was quickly backed down by my big sister Mary. I often wondered how someone so diminutive and soft-spoken could be as tough as Mary. She played the role well. And while she always led with a stoic, martinet exterior, inside, she was fiercely loyal to the family, a lesson that "Blue" learned well.

And one day, just as abruptly as she had arrived, she was gone again. But this time Mary stayed in contact. She visited often and got to spend some meaningful years with the family. And I grew to know her as well as she would allow. Even though she toned it down a little in her later years, she never let anyone fully in. There was always a distance. The last time I had a conversation with her, before she got sick, she was never really there. While she sat with me and we talked, her eyes belied her true heart - she was somewhere else. I don't know where, but she wasn't in that room with me. I guess she might have been on one last adventure.

Read 796 times Last modified on Sunday, 24 August 2014 05:16
Alonzo A. Heath

I am  a writer and I live in Ohio.  I have authored the content of LonnieHeath.Com for over ten years.   I am  also a regular contributor to Success Central and Successfully Selling.   You can find me on Google+ and Twitter.  Check out my new book, "Seven Days in June" on



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