|Sandra Kay Rathburn (1954–2011)|
How do you say goodbye to a sister?
You pick up the phone to call,
even though you know she will not answer.
You just want to hear her voice again,
even though you know it will be for the last time.
She says, "Sorry I missed your call."
You try again.
You weep again.
She says, "Bye."
You say, "No, wait, I have more to say."
There is just silence on the other end.
I want to run, I want to get away. If they are all here and she is not, then something is wrong, very wrong.
Go through the motions. Let's see what do I have in the house? A pot of black-eyed peas goes on the stove, but all I have are those ham hocks from Sweet Bay that have no meat. They will have to do. Oh, and potato salad, they all love potato salad. Throw a cornbread together. What else, what else?
|With my baby sister in 1955|
Why do I have to do this? I just want to crawl back in bed and cry. No, can't do that, they will all be here soon.
Did the Red Cross get their military leaves taken care of? What time do flights arrive?
I have so much to do, but I don't know where to start. I don't know where it will end. Say goodbye to my sister? I don't know how to do that. I don't have time to break down. There is much to be done. Why me? Someone else come take care of this, I just want to run away. Away to a place where my sister is still alive. I don't know how to say goodbye to my sister.
Family and friends gathered on Saturday to celebrate the life of
Sandra Kay Rathburn
September 29, 1954 – August 2, 2011
The following is adapted from a poem, The Ship by Bishop Brent (1862–1926), I would like to dedicate this in memory to my sister.
Gone From My Sight, Not From My Heart
I am standing upon the seashore.
A little ship at my side spreads her white
sails to the morning breeze and starts
for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until at length
she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come
to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says;
"There, she is gone!"
Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull
and spar as she was when she left my side
and she is just as able to bear her
load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
I stood watching as the little ship sailed out to sea.
The setting sun tinted her white sails with a golden light,
and as she disappeared from sight a voice at my side whispered again,
“She is gone”.
On the farther shore a little band of family and friends had gathered to watch and wait.
Suddenly they caught sight of the tiny sail and,
at the very moment when my companion had whispered,
“She is gone” a glad shout went up in joyous welcome,
“Here she comes! Here she comes!”
|Standing on the bandstand that our daddy built|
with the Sea Bees at Heritage Park in Florida
Shellbelle's Tiki Hut will be taking an extended break, so that I can be there for those who loved her and so that I can take care of myself.