Happy Birthday

This is awkward… I wrote a post for my sister's birthday, thinking I had just missed the anniversary of her death, but I was off by a month. Now that the post is out there, and there are comments, it seems like it would be somehow dishonest, or rewriting history to clean it all up. So below is the original post. The new spin is that I will never forget her birthday, and the date that she went to be with the Lord is not as important to remember or dwell on. I don't plan on a similar post for Feb. 18; but you never know.

I'd like to say that it's because I prefer to celebrate Dacia's life (which began Jan 21, 1975) rather than her death (Jan Feb 18, 2000), but the plain truth is that the 18th passed, and I completely forgot. Probably that's a good thing, maybe it's a bad thing. But I've decided not to allow myself to feel guilty about the way I feel about my sister — or more specifically, for not feeling bad enough. To paraphrase, today has enough trouble; don't worry about yesterday.But I do miss her. I used to have a mental game I would play with myself; if I could go back in time just once to change one thing in the past, what would it be? The game is broken now, because the answer is always "make Dacia not get in that car that night". That of course easily trumps any regret of mine I could wish to erase, and the "game" just becomes stupid if you allow for more than one go.

Another weird thing: I've never been to her grave. Due to some short-term plot-jockeying, she was not actually interred while T-bird & I were back in the States for the funeral (we were living in England at the time (and just a month earlier, Dacia had been visiting us there)). Now that I live in the area again, it's been too long to just go and pop in. It's too much pressure to be a big deal (and the longer I don't go, the bigger deal it would be when I finally go). And I'm sure a visit would just turn out to be standing in some nice grass looking at a slab of metal (or a tombstone? I don't even know), having nothing to say. Whenever I do go, I should go alone, so I don't have to say anything.

It's odd to wonder what things would have been like with her still around. For one thing, she would have been a bridge to my younger bro & sis, who are 10 & 11 years younger than me, and Dacia was halfway between. Also, my #1,#2, and #3 (and all 4 (soon 5!) of their cousins) would have an Aunt Dacia. Who can guess if she would have settled down by now and provided even more cousins? I think not. She was well-suited to the jet-setting lifestyle of her travel & train job. (Although, she had quit that job, and was weeks away from starting a new job where Dad works (and where bro & I now work too: that would have been four of us!)).

Well, I've run out of things to say now, so to close, I'll quote Dacia's favorite verse, Rom 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

7 Responses

  1. R, my dear, you didn’t miss it. Dacia’s death was in February, just after E and A’s wedding. Remember the double trip back to the states and announcing L’s reality?? Think through what a trip to the gravesite would mean for you (and perhaps your folks); you don’t have to feel guilty about not going if you’re not going for good reasons (how to weigh the calculus of motives is difficult, of course). As I have observed more and more as I get older, people grieve in very different ways–there is no right way to grieve. Love to you all.

  2. A touching tribute to a sister you adored. Your paragraph about the wayback game is especially poignant.

    I’ll echo what Aunt B said — grief takes many forms. I still miss my Grannie and wonder how things would be different if she were here, but I’ve never visited her grave (Arlington) since the funeral, even though it’s nearby and I’ve been here 4.5 years now. Sometimes I feel guilty about that. But those pangs in my heart seem testimony enough to how much I loved her. As you say, I’m not sure how much more would be added by standing in a field.

    Dacia inspired you. That was so evident — still evident in this post. You’re doing right by keeping her memory alive.

  3. Of course! I mixed up February 18 and January 18 (and the fact that it was not a few days before her birthday, but a few days before Mom’s birthday)!

    I’ll go back and edit the post, but I’ll leave the comments intact.

  4. […] However, the best advantage of this theme is custom header images.  Apart from being generally mesmerizing, the image above is special to me.  It is a picture of ice on the Moscow River, taken when I was visiting my sister, who studied for a semester in Russia.  The picture was taken off this bridge, near Christmas.  On the southeast bank you can see the famous Gorky Park, where they have a miniature Eiffel Tower, and a prototype of the Soviet space shuttle (if you give up finding it in the previous link, try here).  One day when Dacia was busy teaching, I wandered around in that park (despite the sidewalks flooded and frozen for skating), and watched a game of pickup hockey.  It’s amazing to see it again, from warm, sunny Southern California. […]

  5. […] by RubeRad on January 21st, 2007 In addition to the fact that the date Jan 21 already has significance with me concerning issues of life and death, today our church joined […]

  6. In the fragment of her time that I was fortunate to share, my recall is of a poetic breadth (English and Russian), thirst for adventure, and a warm spirit underneath an earthly veil. All, leaving an everlasting impression.

  7. Thanks for dropping by. It’s good to hear from somebody whose life was touched by her.

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