Pink Shoe Laces

I’ve mentioned my older sister, Sheila, in several post here. She was, most certainly, the strongest early influence on my appreciation of music. As I’ve mentioned, she introduced me (if somewhat vicariously) to my first “grown up” music in the form of 50s and 60s rock and roll. She certainly had a big impact on my choices of music and my appreciation of it over the years. I thought it appropriate to share the following.
I was blogging before it was popular, years before WordPress or it’s predecessor (B2: CafeLog) was even invented. I may have been blogging before the term “blog” was coined. I referred to it as a writing a journal and considered it a sort of online newsletter for subscribers to my Internet Service Provider (ISP) company.
This is an entry from that online journal written at the time of Sheila’s death:

She was in her 54th. year. Dave would likely think of her as ‘old’. Harry, you’d probably call her a ‘spring chicken’. But to me she was always just my older sister.
She was always there in my life. There were times when we squabbled. There was even a period where we didn’t speak very much at all. But we always loved each other in a way that only sibblings can understand. We worried. We wished well for the other. We helped when and where we could. Sheila was always my big sister.
And now she’s gone. It wasn’t the result of a prolonged illness that would lead expectantly to the final conclusion. It wasn’t even a tragic accident that you can raise your anger and frustration against. It just happened. She woke up in the middle of the night a week ago with a little trouble breathing and a few short minutes later she was gone. Quietly. Quickly. And hopefully painlessly. Just gone.
Someone sent me a story the other day about always remembering to say “I Love You” and I meant to keep it to put on my ‘notes’ one day, but I’ve misplaced it — maybe that person, or someone else, could send it to me again. It was so to the point of what I want to say here.
I spoke with my sister several days before she died, but not as recently as I should have nor could have. We get busy. We do other things. We don’t take the time or don’t make the time. And the days slip by. There’s no sign. No warning. And they just aren’t there any more. The things you might have said are now never to be said. The things you wanted to say, you can’t. That’s life. And that’s death.
Sheila was an amazing person. Those who knew her as a child saw a bright, happy yongster who grew up in a loving home, a traditional home where mom was mostly there for the kids and dad went out to work every day. It wasn’t without it’s problems, but it was a great place to grow up in. I know. I was there.
Those who knew her as a teen, growing into a young lady, knew her as a troubled spirit, a person who pushed the limits and sometimes pushed too far, and as a person who paid so dearly for a few mistakes made along the way.
Those who knew her as a young adult knew her as a person looking for another way, another chance, another place. For so long in her life she never found it.
Then she met Lloyd and her life changed. She found new meaning. She found a purpose. She found her God. And she found herself. I knew Sheila in those days and I knew a wonderful woman who worked hard and shared so much with her family and her friends and with strangers who, like the Sheila of past years, were lost or lonely or drifting looking for something else. She touched so many. She helped so many. She has left behind a legacy that would be hard for anyone to believe and next to impossible for anyone to duplicate.
And she left behind her family, her extended family of so many foster children, and so many dear and close friends.
But those of us who knew Sheila will carry her in our hearts for the rest of our lives. She will never be far away. There will always be the memories. The times we shared. The lessons we learned with and from each other. She taught me so much, and yet I never told her. I never thanked her.
And there will always be the words that time didn’t allow me to say: I love you, Sheila. You’ll always be my big sister!
I have tears in my eyes so I have to stop writing now. But I’ve said what I set out to say. I’m sorry to have intruded with my personal thoughts and feelings here, but we’ll get back to the regular stuff next time.

Sheilas Record Player

If there is any song that stands out it is the following, one she listened too the most on her portable record player, back in those early days when rock and roll was just getting started. That record player was nearly as big as a suitcase and probably didn’t have great sound but she nearly wore out that 45 on it. I heard it until I was sick of it but it stuck in my head, now coming back to me time and again whenever I think of my sister, Sheila.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Include link to your own last post.