Who am I now that my sisters passed away? Not an easy question to answer. My life has evolved through many unpredicted punches, most powerfully by the loss of my treasured sisters Margie and Jane in their young adulthood.
As I plow through my cobwebs and entanglements, searching for the core of the authentic middle girl sandwiched between Margie and Jane, I have lost my path numerous times and desperately needed to navigate the direction back home to myself.
My independent streak allowed me to attend overnight camp for eight weeks at age nine, step on a big bus for a four-hour drive to Maine, and later go away to college and a move to New York City at age 21.
The years in New York in my early twenties proved to be the happiest in my life. As I embarked on a new career in retail, worked extremely hard, meeting new people, I enjoyed all New York City offered and relished being a city girl. The training served me well throughout my life. I took my late father’s advice, “Roll with the punches.”
I was free to be me, without the burdens of feelingjudged, criticized, both inside and outside of my family. No one knew my story, no explanations needed, a clean slate. Then, on November 7, 1981, a tragic automobile accident that killed my sister Jane at age 22. It turned my world upside down. Nine years later, my other sister died in her thirties.
With both my sisters deceased, I felt myself being chipped away into someone I did not know. I tried to please others, bring light to everyone. But deep inside, I struggled. I stopped talking about my sisters. And this halted my quest for identity. A piece of me was always missing. I became confused and silent at my center, my core, my true self.
What is my life now that my sisters have passed away? I know for certain now that even though they are gone, they must always be a part of me. They are in my past, present and future. Margie and Jane define me; I cannot bury my connect with them. I cherish their love and memories every day. As three sisters, we each had our own unique personality, but something connected us like pieces of a puzzle fitting together. This is what I hold onto today.