Sunflowers for My Sister

Sunflowers for My Sister

This month, October 20th to be exact, marks the one year anniversary of my sister Ginger’s death from colon cancer.  All these months later, her death still hardly seems real.  I have written about the dramatic experience of losing my sister in previous posts, namely, “Death’s Dramatic Prelude” and “The Dead: Big Pink Elephants Not in the Room.”  Ginger loved the color yellow, and I have found myself drawn to everything this color myself lately, from the yellow socks and shoes I wore to run a 15K last weekend right down to the nail polish I’m wearing as I type this post.  Yellow suited my sister: she was always cheerful, upbeat, and smiling, even in the face of the grimmest prognoses and incomprehensible pain.  Last fall I took what small pleasure I could in supplying her hospital room with fresh flowers several times a week, during her finals days at Moffitt Cancer Institute before she headed home to Hopsice,   No one who knew her would be surprised that she loved this type of flower.  When I made arrangements with sunflowers in them, I would sit in her room while she rested and admire the strength of this variety, long hearty stems, robust color, and centers like warm, consoling brown eyes.  My daughter and I talked about Ginger today and admired the flowers we just bought in her honor.  While there’s nothing particularly dramatic about this post, coping with the loss of a loved one is incredibly dramatic, and the only way to work towards catharsis and calm acceptance, at least for me, is to put these feelings and my sister’s memory out into the universe, instead of keeping them trapped in my heavy heart.

Pictured below:

Ginger (left) and her high school friend, Beth, back in the late 1970’s. Check out boom box and the size of the Coca Cola cans, not to mention the cars and my sissy’s looooong locks.

A picture I took of Ginger visiting with her dear friend, Beth, sister-in-law Sarah, and niece Ruby. Notice the sunflowers 😦

My daughter and I with our sunflowers in Ginger’s honor.

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