Two Sisters

2 min
at 11:43 PM

Deidre Green brings together two aging, long-separated sisters who rediscover powerful bonds.

A number of years ago, I visited my then elderly mother in Australia. My mother’s only living sibling at that time was her older sister, Mimi, who was living with old age and dementia and in a senior care facility. The sisters had not seen one another in a long time, so I suggested a visit and made the arrangements.

We checked in at reception then walked the corridor to Mimi’s room. My elderly Aunt was lying in a fetal position, her white hair tousled, her face and arms thin and colorless, her eyes vacant. I wasn’t sure how my mother would react to seeing her older sister so helpless.

As we walked in, Mimi smiled and began singing her favorite song…”Daisy, Daisy…give me your answer. ” She rocked her head slowly in uneven rhythm, as my mother reached across to take her hand, while launching into a one-way conversation. Within moments, however, Mimi stopped singing, raised her head from the pillow, looked directly at my mother, and cried: “Sadie, Sadie.” She called to the nurse nearby, pointing toward my mother: “Sadie,” again she cried. We laughed, we cheered, and Mimi, thus encouraged, looked over at me (never one of her favorite nieces), and poked her tongue at me. That made us laugh all the more!

Whatever transpired during our time together, the two sisters were grinning, laughing and singing, their cheeks moist with tears as if all the years shared between them, all the love and the losses came rushing back, reconnecting them, not so much in words or recall but in the realization of: ‘I know you….you are part of me’.

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When we said goodbye, my mother stroked her sister’s cheek and told her to ‘look after herself’. Mimi’s eyes followed us to the door as, ever so softly, she resumed her song.

With a Perspective, I’m Deidre Green.

Deidre Green lives in San Rafael.

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