Summer enters its final stretch here in August, and soon the students will return to State College as an unstoppable wave of energy, curiosity, and lust. I remember when I was an undergrad I couldn't wait to get back up here- away from parents and their rules and back on my own where the possibilities and parties were endless.
Today I'm really not thinking of that though. Today marks my dearest sister Lisa's 61st birthday. Nine years ago, this day was marked by a huge party in her sister's yard in Baltimore which was a combination of her 52nd birthday and "coming out" party. I was one of the lucky few to be invited, and it was one of the most fun days of my life.
As I wrote of that day:
I started walking toward the back yard and I saw Lisa. She was dressed in a white floral dress, and holding a bouquet of flowers. Absolutely angelic. She saw our group coming and smiled broadly. I would find out later that she was feeling extremely nervous until we arrived, and we were like cavalry coming to her rescue! I can't blame her- that had to be so incredibly stressful meeting so many relatives as a Woman for the first time.
It was a long day- 18 hours and a LOT of driving. Also that day, I met a statuesque beauty who would become one of my dearest friends: Ally.
Special people and special memories. Bittersweet. Lisa is still 52, and always will be. As those who have read this blog more than a little know what happened. Lisa committed suicide a little more than a month later. She deprived the world of her incredible light, and the privilege of watching her and Sandy grow old together. I think of them both today, as I do every day.
And so, this last chapter of summer (so to speak) is hot, humid, and haunted. The hot weather now continues into November, so it's like we skip autumn chill and go into a short winter before summer begins again. (Spring and fall were cancelled to bring higher profits to oil companies.) In any case, today I reflect on what was, who she was, what could have been, what is, who I am, and what now? No matter what, I hope that wherever she is, I'm making Lisa proud.
Happy birthday Lisa! I will always love and miss you.