Sunday, January 2, 2011
Good thing we have caller id. When the phone rang as I was about to sit in my chair, I glanced at the phone screen: "Gaithersburg, MD". Now could it be my slightly eccentric sister who loves to talk (too early for me) or my other sister, Martha, who I have become closer to over the years? I waited until a voice message started and it was Phil, Martha's husband. In a broken voice he related the last few days of Martha's illness. It was after a wonderful Christmas celebration at her house with her children and grandchildren. Martha is a cancer survivor, but the treatment was what really weakened her system. She apparently contracted some virus. Phil tried to get her to the hospital but she hated hospitals and begged to stay home. Since they have been through so much together, related to her illness, he respected her wishes.
While helping her to the bathroom, she fell unconscious. 911 was summoned and she was taken to hospital, never to awaken. She was taken off life support yesterday, i believe.
Phil has been her best friend and care taker, besides a faithful husband. Martha had some very difficult years before they found each other.
Martha married early, around 20 years of age. Her dream was to be a wife and mother. And by all accounts, she was great at both. But she married a man who had different ideas about relationships. I know, there are two sides to everything. He cruelly divorced her, taking custody of both young children. She had no money to defend herself in those days.
She drank, I think, for years, to ease the pain of loss and lonliness. She adored those children.
Sadly, I cannot lay my hands on a photograph of Martha. I am a poor scrapbooker. But i have a picture in my mind, when she was visiting her in Georgia in the early 80's, wearing a red cowgirl hat that I had just bought her. That is how I will always remember her.
Martha, may you rest in peace. I will see you one of these days soon.
Your big sister