Linda Alessi: Elegy for my sister, Edith

Linda Alessi • Updated Oct 7, 2017 at 12:00 PM

I see you now, a shadow of yourself. I hardly recognize you, and sadly, you do not recognize me. I am looking at a shell of the woman I know and love. There is no longer a sparkle in your eyes. You stare out unknowing. Where have you gone? Can I reach you? The frailty of you is too much to bear. Are you listening, can you hear me?

I became your child when momma died. You comforted me and nursed me back to health when I was so ill with scarlet fever. I remember I did not want to eat. You made a bowl of mashed potatoes steeped with butter, my favorite, and sat with me in our backyard and fed me. It was you who tucked me in at night and taught me to say my prayers. You came to me in the night when I cried out frightened by a bad dream.  

I remember how you would let me tag along when you and your husband-to-be, Frank, were courting. Your home was the hub of our family. This was the place to come to be succored with love and warmth. Edith, your love of cooking and baking did not seem to bring you pleasure unless you shared with others. Your recipes were creative. If we tried your recipes, others would know Aunt Edith was the author.

You always made us feel welcomed in your home. You were a perfectionist in all your endeavors. Your whole world evolved around our family, sometimes depriving yourself. You often put our needs before your own. Edith, you always loved unselfishly.

Edith we could depend upon you for our history lessons. No one could rattle presidents backward to the very beginning. History was your love. The world around you was so important. Your interest and knowledge in current events could have qualified you on any quiz show. We could always refer to you to confirm historical facts. Your love for debates and knowledge kept you informed in the world around you. Many a spring or summer day you could be found listening or watching a baseball game, especially the days of the Brooklyn Dodgers. You were loyal all your days to who and what you believed in.

Now we have lost you to another place. This is not what we wanted for you. We wanted only the best that life could offer. I am grateful for the time we shared here and now. I can only hope and pray this dark place you have entered will lead you out to a path where light will guide you, where you will be serene and happy evermore.  We love you and miss you.

P.S. Edith is gone now, and I am sure she is in a special place where she is surround by glorious light. Cherish those you love while you can.

Linda Alessi is a contributing columnist who writes about life beyond the younger years.

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