Stop, this day and this night, that I may reflect upon my sisters life. Have you ever read Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay entitled “Self Reliance”? I mention it only because when I read it, I began to understand my sister much better. As children we often referred to her as “mother hen” because she was so “no nonsense” in her daily approach to things as they arose. Things always had to “get done” with her, as I recall. Her tongue was razor sharp and her hugs always felt like home to me. My sister Sabrina lived one life outwardly and another inwardly. Outwardly she was always speaking her mind no matter the consequence. She seemed to many, abrupt and angry over life’s many intolerances ~ and to many she represented a steadfast, opinionated, business type woman. To me, as I came to know her better ~ and please understand I am just a brother who gleaned most of what I am conveying here through hundreds of conversations on the phone over the past 13 years or so…….she clung powerfully to the love of her children, always making sacrifices for her daughters Marissa and Meadow, the kinds of sacrifices that must have hurt deeply, but always she looked forward on their behalf because knowing they went to college meant much to her. She rarely gave that same intensity of Love to others. If she Loved you wholeheartedly, you knew it and you felt it full on. She did not speak what others taught or believed, she spoke directly from her own mind and heart ~ I always thought there was a type of genius in that non-traditional path of hers, for inwardly she was very Godly in her intent. We spent many, many hours, speaking of her Love of God. How when you looked closely, you could find God in everything. However, she was quick to snap vehemently at you, if your belief system clashed with hers. (smiles) I know in my heart, God has welcomed her home.
It’s VERY difficult to measure the sum of a persons life ~ some people believe that you can sum up a persons life by the Love’s in their lifetime……….I was there, in Chicago, when she told me she had fallen for a man who wore clogs! His name is David Fassino, great guy, and Marissa’s father ~ she knew I’d like him because I wore clogs too! (smiles) I listened intently as she spoke of Danny’s hardworking and forthright attitude toward life ~ he gave her Meadow. But there was only one man ~ one person ~ to whom she gave ALL of her anger and ALL of her Love ~ and VERY importantly ~ All of her respect ~ his name is Allen Partlow ~ for it was in him that she found that same respect returned, unconditionally. Truly……..unconditionally! She spoke many times of how he had changed her faith in humanity. She was completely taken aback by his relentless giving and sharing and how he cared for Meadow. She told me once, she had never experienced that kind of rarity of heart. I can’t say I understand all the in’s and out’s of her personal relationships……….but I DID understand her struggle with alcoholism, having fought the same battle myself. That struggle was profound and kept her secretive, when it came to speaking to others about much of her life. She didn’t want anyone to see that part of herself and consequently cut herself off from many people that she Loved dearly. Because, as any functioning alcoholic will tell you, it’s near impossible to say the words “I am an alcoholic” aloud ,and then NOT do something about it. I stayed with her a short while once in her home with Troy, where she forced me to go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. (smiles) She could always see right through me in that way ~ birds of a feather I guess!! But she was always doing things to help others with her insightful advice and rarely helping herself.
Some people believe you can sum up a persons life by their accomplishments. My sisters accomplishments were many but I always felt her most outstanding was in her steadfast independence ~ her self-reliance. Emerson, whom I mentioned earlier, said………”To believe your own thoughts, to believe that what is true for you in your own private heart is true for all men, speak your latent conviction, for it is of the universal mind; for the innermost in due time becomes the outermost, and our first thought is rendered back to us by the trumpets of the Last Judgment.”
My sister was a great woman, with great difficulties. I Love her for who she was and I respect her for who she wasn’t. Hers was an iron will. There was no changing her mind once her mind was made up on any subject matter. To me she was an angel ~ a Libra constantly trying to balance the scales. She was a powerful influence on my life and she will always remain that way. I miss her already. And there are many friends and family members lives that she has touched with such profound memories that I dare say, that this world will not spin the same without her, now that she’s gone home. I know that eventually we ALL must be separated from one another but this was too soon, and my heart hurts so badly because of the suddenness of her departure from this world and the suffering she experienced. Glide on the Love from us ALL~ into the awaiting arms of the welcoming angels my dear sister. I Love you ~ you are forever a part of us who know and love you ~ i’ll be talking to you often………Tony
I wish I could have posted her picture here but my computer isn’t functioning properly ~ my apologies.