Monday, September 06, 2010

Raise a pint (of ice cream)...

I was looking at my perpetual calendar today (a gift from Rick's mom to help us remember birthdays and anniversaries... and yet somehow we STILL manage to forget far too often... :)) and I realized that today would've been Aimee's 41st birthday. There've been many times over the last eight years when I've wished for a big sister's advice or listening ear (although I have to admit, little brothers are pretty freaking awesome, too... and I don't throw the word "freaking" around in a casual manner, so you know I'm serious... :)). It does make me sad to think of how things COULD have been, if only we'd had more time with her...

In case you've just joined me here in Blogland, the super-short truncated version of Aimee's story is this: she was my half-sister, who, as a result of some horrible, unfortunate circumstances, was not in our lives until she was 29 years old. We all knew she was out there, we just didn't know WHERE. And happily, SHE managed to find US. We had three years to get to know her, and she immediately became a part of the family (the picture above is Aimee and her husband Allan, when we were on a family cruise in Alaska).

But UNhappily, Aimee suffered from a seizure disorder, the cause of which was never found. She had a seizure one night and fell down a flight of stairs, and no one was able to revive her. The rest of us were on another cruise in the Mediterranean -- I still remember when Eric knocked on my cabin door, and when I opened it he said, "Aimee died." And my first thought was, "Aimee who? The only Aimee I know is..." and then it hit me that he WAS talking about our sister.

We went from Mediterranean cruise to burial service in New Orleans -- it was a very surreal week. But I've always maintained the belief that it was better to have had three years to get to know Aimee than to have never met her. What if she had never managed to find us? We never would've known that she was an artist and she loved to read and liked watching soccer and spent time living in Austria and looked EXACTLY like my grandmother's 19-year-old self. And she never would've sent me the little curled-up wooden cat that sits in front of my fireplace, a constant reminder of the thoughtful sender. If she was here, I would pull out a pint of Moose Tracks ice cream (her favorite) and offer a frozen toast to her 41st year...

Actually, I should've done that anyway. I'm sure Aimee would've approved. :)

4 comments:

G said...

Lovely tribute and rememberance to one who now shines with the stars.

George

Lisa said...

Thank you, George! :)

Mom said...

Lisa, you are such a good writer. I know, because I'm crying! Thanks for posting that.

I love you!

Dad said...

She also liked to grind up coffee beans, add them to vanilla ice cream and eat that with shortbread cookies. I've tried it - great but way too many calories.

That Alaska cruise was one of my favorites. I've got a collage from the cruise on the wall right above my desk at work. That was a touching post and brought back a lot of memories.

Love, Dad