Saturday, October 18, 2003

Little Women

With the husband out of town, I took the opportunity to engage in a little emotional indulgence.  I poured myself a glass of wine, cranked up the VCR, and sat down to watch "Little Women."  The 1995 version with Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon.

I CANNOT watch this movie without bawling.  In fact, I roll it out when I feel in need of a good, cleansing cry.  How warped is THAT?  Besides the fact that the actual story is sad, it tugs my heart in a very personal way.  I invariably connect it to my memories of Joyce, my  sister who died 8 years ago. 

Joyce was the oldest, I the youngest, of us five girls.  She was eight years older than I...a vast canyon when you're little.  She was more like my mother than my sister, used to read to us all the time.  Books like...Little Women. 

But as we grew up, those 8 years seemed to shrink. By the time I left her behind in Illinois to move to Oregon, Joyce and I had a close, yet strained relationship.  Trying to go from the big sister/little sister thing, to being real adult friends.  The distance proved to enhance our relationship.  I was determined to keep her close, and not let her think that we had all moved away and forgotten about her, as the rest of the sisters actually HAD.  She clung to me like a lifeline.  And then she got sick and died.

It looks strange to sum it up so succinctly.  So much to impossible to put into words.  She got deathly ill..I went home to Illinois to try to love her back to health.  She died, and her family fell apart.  I tried to scrape them all back together, but I failed.  For reasons unknown, they buried her out here, in the same cemetery in Eugene where my father was buried four years later.  So what I have  left of her is her sad, lonely grave, down the hill from Dad's.  I don't feel her there. Don't talk to her there.  But somehow, I know she'd want someone to go there once in awhile.  So I go.

And now and then, I sit down and watch "Little Women." 

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry about your loss. We never really are the same ever again, are we?