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September 21, 2010

Thank You Jeannette, and RIP

My former sister-in-law passed away on Saturday. I was 12 years old when Jeannette married my brother. I was so in awe of her! She brought so many new experiences into my life. I didn't have the greatest of childhoods and she brought me several moments of happiness which still linger with me.

Jeannette, I often think about your toasted salmon sandwiches every Friday at midnight. Such a seemingly small thing, but so special to me.

I remember when you went against my mother's wishes and took me to Oshawa to see the new movie "Psycho". I was so thrilled to be taken to the movies by my wonderful new sister-in-law! It was only the second time I'd ever been to the movies, and you bought me popcorn and a coke. I was so amazed that you chose to spend time with me and to give me a wonderful day out.

Even though my mother was right in that I was terrified and had nightmares for weeks afterward, the memory of that day with you is still special even after 50 years.

I remember driving back late one night from Toronto, sitting beside you in the front seat of the car. It was winter and you were wearing a big faux fur coat. I was sleepy and you told me I could put my head on your shoulder and go to sleep. I doubt you knew what that meant to me, but it's another treasured memory I carry. I didn't do it as that kind of physical closeness was something my family never did, but I longed to. I don't recall ever being told I could snuggle up to anyone before you offered your shoulder!

You showed me how to design and sketch clothing using paper dolls. It sounds strange now I know, but for my artist soul that opened a whole new world for me. I spent hundreds of blissful hours designing clothing for those silly paper dolls, an activity which offered me peace from a less than pleasant home life.

I'm so glad I had a chance to see you again last year (after more than 30 years!) at my mother's memorial service. I didn't recognize you at first but you recognized me and we had a big hug. I still remember the first words out of your mouth "When did you get to be so tall!"

We had a lovely chat and that's another memory I'll cherish. But I wish I'd told you of those special moments with you when I was young.

Thank you for the joy you brought me as a young girl. This song is for you. You had serious health problems for many years of your life and I hope you've reached that peaceful valley.

I went up to the mountain
Because you asked me to
Up over the clouds
To where the sky was blue

I could see all around me


I could see all around me


Sometimes I feel like

I've never been nothing but tired

And I'll be walking

Till the day I expire

Sometimes I lay down

No more can I do

But then I go on again

Because you ask me to

Some days I look down

Afraid I will fall

And though the sun shines

I see nothing at all

Then I hear your sweet voice, oh

Oh, come and then go, come and then go

Telling me softly

You love me so

The peaceful valley

Just over the mountain

The peaceful valley

Few come to know

I may never get there

Ever in this lifetime

But sooner or later

It's there I will go

Sooner or later

It's there I will go


Kristin said...

That brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful person to come into your life when you needed her so much. I would have nixed the psycho movie too. but it seems to have left more good than bad.

Carol said...

Lovely tribute. thanks for sharing a lovely lady.

Debbie Blanton McCoy said...

Beautiful tribute. I love Crystal's version of that song, too.

Mary said...

thanks for sharing this...made me cry

Michelle Goodrum said...

A very touching tribute. You were so fortunate to have such a loving and wonderful person in your life. I am sorry for your loss.

Greta Koehl said...

A lovely tribute. And one of my fondest memories is also when a teenaged neighbor taught me how to make clothes for my paper dolls. I wonder whether people realize that these acts of kindness and considerate attention leave such a big impression on children.

Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

What a lovely tribute. I am sorry for your loss.