Mar. 14th, 2017

dolari: (Rose Quartz)
This was hard to write, and harder to say. But it got done:

First off, I'd like to thank you all for being here, your love and support for my family, for me and especially for my sister these last few days. It's been emotionally draining for everyone, and your efforts, your comfort and even (especially with a few people who have had to deal with me) your patience has been very welcome.

I promise to keep this short, mainly because I'm likely to break down part way through this. For those of you who would like to keep time, you should start your stopwatches now, it's usually about the five minute mark. And please, no wagering. This is a house of worship after all.

February of 1977 was a very exciting time in my life. At that moment in time, there was a defining event that would forever change, and redefine the rest of my life. It was the greatest miracle of my then two and a half year old life. The trailer for Star Wars came out, and it had the space ships and Darth Vader and lasers and the pew pew pew pew.

It also brought a small little person into my life. Marisa Ann Hernandez. This little tiny baby bundle that slept in a wicker chair that had been turned sideways and made into a makeshift bassinet entered my life. As I stood there, watching this cute little girl squirm and giggle and coo, my heart filled with an emotion that only one sibling can have for another. This Meant War.

It took a little time, and a lot more Star Wars toys, but she eventually won me over, and we grew up together. She even got into the Star Wars stuff. She'd grow her hair really long when she wasn't cutting it herself (that was a great couple of days, let me tell you), and with mom's help, she got it braided and made into Princess Leia's cinnamon bun hairdo. She was adorable. And, as I found out later, she did it for me.

Oh, my folks gave George Lucas so much money.

For most of our childhoods, our interests intertwined. She shaped me more than I shaped her I gather. She got me into wrestling. She got me into the Monkees during their 80s revival. But one thing she got me into, was a game we'd play as children called “Gotcha Last.”

“Gotcha Last” was a poor man's version of “It” that was the same kind of game without all that pesky excersize or going out for fresh air. It involved her tapping me on the arm and saying “Gotcha Last” and then me tapping her and saying “Gotcha Last.” We could do this for hours. Usually with one of us complaining to Mom or Dad to have the other quit it. But, we loved it.

And we still loved it. Because I'm 42 going on 14, and she was 40 going on 12, we were playing that game up until the last time I saw her. Some of you might remember I even “Gotcha Last”ed her at her graduation party.

As we grew up, though, we became our own people. She liked Lonesome Dove, I liked Babylon 5. She listened to Garth Brooks and George Strait, I listed to Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nirvana. She watched An American Tail, I watched Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind. She was a little bit country, I was a little bit rock'n'roll. We still loved Star Wars, though, in our own special ways.

Oh, we gave George Lucas so much money.

And while we grew apart, both in maturity and physical location, she was never far out of my thoughts. And, apparently, I was never far from hers as she doted on me from afar. While she never shared my love for Doctor Who, she was still interested in it...and on finding the patterns online and knitting not one, but three of the four scarves. And these things are twelve to fifteen feet long, so it wasn't just a little something to do between TV shows. She'd also started on the fourth.

I'm gonna tell you something about those scarves that I actually told her. There are seven tassels on each of those scarves, and the actual scarf on the show has seven colors in each tassel. She got it wrong, and made each tassel with one of the seven colors. But I told her I preferred it that way – because that was our little secret to each other, not because it was exactly what was on TV.

Shortly before she passed, she gifted me with a charm bracelet, which in the haste to get down here, I left in a jewelry box in Seattle. I regret that. Because as I found out when I got down here, she'd bought me another charm for it. It's already got a Space Shuttle on it, as she knew my love for the space program, a bike for my old days when I'd bike twenty miles on a whim, and a video game controller for all those years of Street Fighter II.

Oh, I gave Capcom so much money.

Even when I was in Pennsylvania or in Seattle, I waited with baited breath at how she was doing when mom or dad would call in, to see how they were doing, and how Marisa was doing. I worried for her as she gained weight, I was proud of her for taking steps to fix that. I was worried when she dropped out of college, and proud of her when eventually got her degree. Something I wasn't able to accomplish.

She gave me more than I ever gave her. Such was the size of her heart.

For those of you keeping time, you might want to get out your stop watches.

These last few years, I was so proud of everything she'd achieved. College is not easy, it takes a lot of passion and dedication. And my own personal demons kept me from achieving what she succeeded at. As someone who has struggled with diabetes and weight issues myself, the steps she took to begin her weight loss, and her success at it, showed me how strong she was. A strength and dedication I became very proud of.

But I think the one thing that she'd be proudest of, because of the person she is, and the relationship we had together, is that she Got Me Last.

Love you, sis. See ya 'round the Galaxy.

July 2017

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