Friday, August 6, 2010

No more pain......

I have been struggling with whether I wanted to write in my Blog for awhile but someone encouraged me several times to please just jump in and do it. I guess it is appropriate that I'm awake after 1AM - sleep hasn't been coming easily these past few days/weeks. Most of you already know my sister died early 1:44AM on July 28th. She loved butterflies and several years ago, her son caught this picture of one on her hand. He printed it out and she sent one for each of us girls to have and I love it. Her grandson wrote a letter that he read at her Memorial about her love of butterflies and how there were so many in their yards (they adjoin) the day she died. He wants us to think of her whenever we see a butterfly. BigD and I got on the road Monday, July 26th and Lolo called when we were about half-way to tell me not to rush because she felt like Ann was waiting for me. When we finally got there later that evening, I rushed over and sat on the bed. Lolo said she hadn't really talked and was pretty unresponsive. I took her hand and spoke to her - telling her I was there and she opened her eyes, looked at me and smiled, put her hand on my face and said, "Hey honey". Lolo was surprised she spoke so clearly but then she went right back to sleep. I tried to sit up with her but the exhaustion of the trip plus no sleep kept slipping up on me. Lolo made me get some sleep but the next day I was able to be with her along with Lolo until the end. She went very peacefully and I was so proud of Lolo who had been taking such good care of her all these years. She is such a special young woman whom I have come to love dearly along with her whole family. I love this picture of her and Naoki when they were dating. This was one of the pictures Naoki pulled together for the video that streamed at the funeral home during the visitation. The pictures brought back so many memories and I hope it brought comfort to her family. One of my favorite is this one with her boys when they were small. I love the happy look on her face as she is cuddled. A lot of our family were able to make it along with our friends - many who came straight from the convention in Raleigh. Some provided food for the night after the visitation and then the next day after the burial down home with our cousins who live there. I think the cousins all enjoyed seeing each other again - it had been three years since Ann and her family had come down for the family reunion. Several sisters brought me fresh flowers and my dear Eileen had some of my favorites (roses and irises) delivered. Gail and her sister-in-law brought the large bouquet in my pretty pitcher and Rie came by with her sweet little boys and brought me the yellow roses and daises. Yep - those who know me - know how much I love fresh flowers. I hate that I lost the pictures I took of the gorgeous ones Eileen sent. I'm sure it will turn up in another file somewhere. Poor Lolo - her dear friend sent her some gorgeous sunflowers (one of my favorite) but she is allergic and couldn't take them home in the car so I "had" to take them for her. :-) We also took some of the sweetheart roses from the gravesite - they were picked out by my brother-in-law and had a special meaning for them. One of the requests Ann made was for my brother-in-law Wayne, to write her a poem like he wrote for Mama and my niece. He did a great job and maybe I'll share that later. I've kept myself so busy that today it is like I hit a brick wall of emotion. Hopefully that will get better soon. As I was sitting in Ann's room, I would look across her bed at a picture she had on her wall of Mama when she was in her 30's. Mama was such a pretty woman and that was one of my favorite of her pictures. Right after Ann took her last two soft gentle breaths, I looked up into Mama's eyes and felt both comforted and a deep sadness. From now on, I will not only think of my Mom every day, but I will also think of my oldest sister every day and miss them both. I've told my friends that Ann was a true Southern lady who knew when it was time to leave the room/party and that was true. It was also true that she was going to do it her way. No matter how long she lived away from her home, it was here she wanted to be brought back - to be beside Mama. I am so happy I not only got to know Ann better through these past 16 years since Mama died - especially these last 3 as we talked more often since she was diagnosed; but that I also learned more about my childhood home and the earlier years of my family's life. I will treasure the fact that she trusted me to carry out her end of life wishes regarding her visitation and funeral. She had suffered for so many years with her rheumatoid arthritis (since she was 23) and after she died, I looked at her left hand - the one that gave her the most trouble and realized - no more pain Ann, no more pain.


  1. I know you will miss her. You are so great at remembering the great times you had with people I know you will cherish all the fond memories of your sister. I'm sorry I didn't know we were allowed to the services and such, I would have loved to be there to support you. I should have asked to find out, I'm sorry :( Hope you are enjoying the convention this weekend! Have a nice trip to the beach next week. Love you.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.