Dear Readers, I'm going to pause from posting excerpts from my books in order to pay tribute to my sister whom I lost to cancer last week.
Arlene and I were very close, and I don't know how I'm going to get along without her. She was a hard-working, highly successful single mother who was devoted to her children.
Though we came from a large farm family of meager means, both Arlene and I, along with one of our brothers, fulfilled our dreams of becoming college graduates. All three of us paid our own ways through school, me until I completed my bachelor's degree, Arlene until she'd finished her master's degree and our brother completed his doctorate. Both of our parents had only eighth grade educations.
Arlene taught school at a small college for a while before she began a career in accounting. Eventually, she became the vice president of business at a college, where she worked until she was too ill to continue.
Her children, now aged 29 and 30, are both college graduates. One of them has just completed her master's degree, the other has a bachelor's degree.
During her last few months with us, her children took very good care of her. They were at her side throughout her illness and with her when she died.
Arlene loved babies, and, whenever a colleague or a coworker's family member would bring a baby into work, she set everything aside to take time to hold the baby. She'd always hoped that when she retired she could volunteer at a hospital in the pediatric ward.
When I think of Arlene now, I will see her in heaven, sitting in a white chair, smiling on a baby as she holds the little soul in her arms. I wish babies never had to die, but sometimes they do, and now, until their mommies and daddies join them in heaven, Arlene will hold them and coo to them and love them as though they were her own.
And that's a whole lot of love.
Fran's Web Page