I never get tired of remembering the birth of my sister. As a little girl there are only certain details that are real, so a woman, once older, has to sift out the details that would belong to others.
My memory is of the air. It was an April evening. There were shear curtains hanging on my window. The bed lined up along that wall, I turned to face the window. There was still a soft light. I already had three brothers.
I said (spoken or in my head…I don’t remember) “Dear God, if you are giving me a sister, please move the curtain.” The window was closed. I remember being hot. The blankets were tucked around my neck. I fell asleep, looking at those curtains, waiting for them to move and believing that God could do it. Already, I believed in miracles.
I fell asleep.
In the morning, my next recollection was my father touching my shoulder. “Kathy. Kathy. You have a sister.”
The next recollection was of her home coming. I remember the front hallway and a beautiful bassinet where my mother placed her so tenderly. Most wonderful, I remember my mother looking so absolutely beautiful. I remember embracing her.
In 2013, these photographs finally surfaced in a packet of undeveloped negatives. These would be photographs of Valerie, taken in the hospital. In those days, a baby couldn’t go home with a mama until after the mother had demonstrated that she could bathe the baby. It’s amazing to think that these photographs were snapped by someone in the hospital, using colour film, 53 years ago.
Next, one of my favourite photo memories, this time, in black and white film.
Next, one of my favourite family reunion photographs…simply because Val and I are together with our Mom and Dad. Little do people know when snapping a photo or two, just what that image might mean, years down the road. I’m likely more attached to these memories than most….I’m pretty caught up in nostalgia. In these days of isolation and separation from family, these become more important.
And finally…just snapped yesterday…a photo from the very current on-line communication format…my sister, Val, with her beautiful daughter, Eliane. They are both angels.
I love you, Val and Happy Birthday! You’ve always been such an efficient and hard working woman. You have had remarkable strength. You have accomplished so much and raised two amazing children. We’ve spent more years apart then years together, but I want you to know that I could not have been more blessed than having you come into my life on that April night. Mom would be so proud. She, is loving you into your life, still.
One day, when all of this is over, I really really want to go on a road trip with you. I want to go to one amazing concert with you. I want to hang with you again. I love you. And for now, remember, Love Can Build a Bridge.