Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ten Years Ago, Remembering My Sister

I'm almost positive I haven't mentioned it here, but Halloween means a little something different to me. It's always been one of my favorite holidays; getting to dress up as ANYTHING you want, knocking on strangers' doors and given a gift, the mystery, the horror movies, the excitement. Ten years ago, I added something else to that list. It became the day we lost my sister.
I think everyone in my family has a copy of this picture of the two of us.

She died in a car accident Halloween morning, though we didn't find about it until the following day.
I'm going to share a few pictures of us in costume since it is Halloween. My mom always made our costumes. On the left is me as a clown and Crissy is on the right as a gypsy.

The next year Crissy got to be the clown and I wanted to be a Barbie. I ended up being more Preppy than Barbie, because. . .  come on how do you make a little brunette girl look like a Barbie?

My dad was in the Air Force, so we moved often. At times, my sister was the only friend I had. We were absolute polar opposites. . .ask anyone. We answered to nicknames like day and night or thunder and lightening. We fought constantly so that adults were often telling us, "You're sisters and that means you will be friends forever. You shouldn't treat each other that way."  Basically, they wanted us to learn to get along. We didn't for a long time.
My mom saw some movie with the "Sleaze Sisters" (whatever that is) and decided to dress us up as them. Yes, we're wearing garbage bags and some version of KISS makeup. Also, I won ugliest costume at the base Halloween party that year.

It got worse in middle and high school. We found our niches, our group of friends and they were at opposite ends of the spectrum. Even into college, we didn't really ever hang out.
I had a hard time finding pictures of us together during those rough years. And, they were all a little weird, like this one of me apparently sniffing a nacho.
Or Crissy with her head turned and using the wrong finger.
Or this awkward shot from my high school graduation.

That all changed when Crissy became pregnant. The hormones or whatever calmed her wild demeanor some and we really became very close. She was my best friend. After the rough years we had as teenagers, I couldn't have imagined that would have been possible. In those few years we had as friends, we weathered some tough times as a family, and we were each other's shoulder to lean and cry on.
This was my 26th birthday and we were apparently cackling at something.

This is one of my favorite pictures of the two of us as it shows how close we'd grown. It was taken at the same time as the one above it.
It was all cut short 10 years ago today. I always thought (and was always told) that when I had no one else, I would still have my sister. I depended on that fact. It's hard to bear that it's not true. I miss her daily.
Love ya baby sister!

As I already mentioned, when Crissy died she had two daughters. They were 3 1/2 and 6 months old at the time. I'm constantly thankful that those two are around to fill some of the void she left behind.  I'll be spending this Halloween the same way I have for the last 10 years; with my nieces (who will be dressed as a nerd and as Si from Duck Dynasty.) Yup, they're characters all right. It should be a wonderful way to spend the evening.
It's crazy how much these two look like their mother and me. Crazy!

I apologize for getting a little sappy here, but I wanted to give y'all some of my history as well as honor the memory of my sister. Today seemed like the day to do it. Thank you for giving me that chance.

I found this in my digging for pictures too!

I hope you have a happy and safe Halloween!

31 comments:

  1. This is a fantastic post! Thank you for sharing.

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  2. Hope, this is a beautiful tribute to your sister and to family ties. Sending you and your nieces and your whole family my warmest thoughts.

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  3. Thank you for sharing this. I hope you and your nieces have a wonderful evening!

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  4. Wonderful post - lovely tribute to your sister.

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  5. I'm a little choked up now... Thanks for sharing Crissy's story. Interesting what differences a certain day is to every person, to some it's Halloween, to me a birthday and to some a day to remember a loved one. I'm glad you can share today with your neices, God Bless~

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    1. Every day is special! I know now that it's important to make sure you make sure those you love know how you feel. And, I hope you have an awesome birthday. I bet you had some kickin' halloween birthday parties as a kid. I had a few myself (since my birthday was last week). Enjoy YOUR day!!

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    2. I cannot believe 10 years already. It really doesn't seem that long until you look at the girls. Such a beautiful tribute. I love you and I'm always here if you need me.

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    3. Heather - It's been long years and the ones ahead will both be long with them as teenagers and will fly by. Thank you sweetie! Love ya!

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  6. Thank for sharing your story. It is a lovely tribute,

    Ambra

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    1. Ambra, I appreciate you reading it. I just had to get the words out. Since I've never shared anything about her here and talk about my nieces often, I thought it was important. Thank you.

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  7. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, it was wonderful to share in your memories here, I wish you a happy day.

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  8. ((Hope))
    I know how hard it is to lose a sister. Be sure to hug your nieces even tighter.

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  9. I was so moved by your story about your dear sister. Like you, my sister and I didn't always get along as teenagers and into adulthood. When my mother died, I began to rely on my older sister as a surrogate. Over the last year our relationship grew much closer and this was a blessing. Last week she died after a 20 year battle with breast cancer. I always thought that someday we'd be the old lady sisters who lived together and had too many cats. Ruthie loved Halloween and annually overdecorated with sometimes over the top (tacky) decorations. This year I can't bring myself to decorate, but in years to come I promise to decorate in a garish fashion. Like your sister, me and mine will always share Halloween and it's evening of thrills, costumes and sweet treats.

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    1. BMW, OH. . . .I am so very sorry for your loss! I'm sure it was a blessing to have that last year with her and that this time of year will bring you some pain, but also some joy as you remember her. I know that's how I feel about it. Sending you some hugs and warm wishes for healing. Thank you for sharing YOUR story as well!

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  10. What a beautiful way to honor your sister.

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    1. Liz, Thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to read my sappiness.

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  11. My sister is my best friend, and I can't imagine losing her. I'm sorry for your loss, and love the stories you've shared. Hope your time tonight with your nieces brings a little more healing and lots of special memories- Christie

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  12. Hope, What a special tribute to your sister. No matter how much time passes, we still miss our loved ones. Thank you for sharing the memories! They really help us to deal with the loss & are such a wonderful way to commemorate our loved ones! Enjoy the time with your nieces! :)

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  13. What a nice tribute to your sister. Seasons can be so difficult... bittersweet. Happy that you have her daughters to bring some of her back to you! Thanks for sharing.

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  14. Thank your for sharing your story about your sis. It was a very nice tribute to her. I am a twin and during HS we didn't hang out together but now that we are grown we are together as much as possible. I can not imagine losing her. It's so nice that you are close to your nieces.

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  15. So bittersweet (((HUGS))) Hope I am stunned by how much her girls look like the two of you. It's a greatw ay to spend the day!

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  16. Hope what a beautiful post to remember your sister! I bet that you are an amazing Aunt to her girls! and hope that you had an amazing Halloween together

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    1. Cynthia, Thank you. I do get to be the cool, fun aunt that the girls know they can depend on and tell their secrets to. I like that role a lot. We had a very nice time together last night but kinda hate that it was a school night since they had to go to bed so early. Darn! ;)

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  17. I have tears streaming down my face as I read this - part of your writing is as if I was reading my own life story growing up! My sister and I are 3 years apart, and it was a rough first 20 years! But now, we are so alike that we finish each other's sentences! We even eat the same crappy junk food - so different from 30 years past! I am so very sorry for your loss, but thankful that you have kept her spirit and memory alive! I hope your Halloween with your nieces was wonderful!

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  18. XOXO....it's important to share these thoughts! I enjoyed your stories and photos about the memories of your sister!

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    1. Barbara, Thank you. I've been a fairly closed-mouth person on here but after seeing all the love and sweet responses like yours I think I might have to open up a little more. I appreciate your kind words so much. :)

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  19. Hope, such a beautiful tribute to your sister. I'm sorry you no longer have her in your life physically, but she is there always, in your heart, and in her daughters!
    The pictures of you and your sister look very much like the pictures of me and my sister, but I was the smaller, blonder one. We had home made costumes as well - usually a pair of PJs that would be used later as PJs (my mom was cheap and practical!)
    And your nieces really do look like you and your sister!

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  20. What a wonderful tribute to your sister. I am so glad that you two were able to become close as you got older. That is something that I wish myself and my sister were able to do.

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  21. What an absolutely heartbreaking story, yet what a beautiful tribute. I am so sorry that you lost your sister so tragically. I think it's great that you shared about her on your blog, and celebrate the memories.

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  22. Thank you for sharing with us Hope! I can see that you treasure the times even if some were difficult and that is perhaps what is most important. ;)

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  23. Thank you for your heart felt post and sharing a little about your sister with us.I too know what it is like to lose a sister.
    Your nieces look uncannily like you both. How wonderful that you have each other.

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