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We were Sisters

sisters

We were Sisters

                                                                  By  Regina Montana

Seventh grade girls aren’t always mean on purpose.

“It’s snowing down south!” said Marguerite.

I just stared at her, not understanding why she and the other girls were giggling.

I followed their eyes to the source of the joke and realized my slip was showing.

I had never heard that expression before and had no clue as to its meaning until now.

But on that morning I didn’t care about being the center of unwanted attention.

My baby sister had just died.  She lived for only ten hours.

Those girls could not have known.

I just grimaced as if I got the joke and looked away.  I don’t really remember if I

was going  to church or to class that day.  It’s all a blur now as I try to recall that moment.

Time kind of stood still and I felt numb.

Earlier that morning when I asked if we could visit mom and the baby, my father said, “Regina, the baby didn’t make it.”

No one took me to the hospital to see my baby sister and she was never talked about again.

Her grave marker simply read “Baby V.”  Only one word and an initial to mark a short life.

My two brothers and I would be the only children  mom and dad would have.

A few weeks after the death of my sister, I came home from school to find a priest from

our parish talking to my mother in our living room.  I could only hear whispering and I

knew it was private, so I did

not linger.  I needed to figure out a way to live without my sister.

In the weeks that followed the girls in my class apologized to me when they

heard about the baby that died. I told them it was ok, that I was ok.

Nothing was further from the truth. I would not be fine for quite a while.

Had she even existed, even if only for a few hours? There was a lot of

silence in my house. I would have to deal with my loss in private. And that

is the path I chose, even till this day, many years later. I say a prayer for her

soul and I think of her every now and then. I know I will see her in heaven

one day and I picture our reunion. That brings me joy and is enough for

me.

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