Friday, April 24, 2009

my sister Louisa

Today is my sister’s birthday. She had the coolest birthday, 4-24-64 easy to remember. ...And then there’s her name; Louisa Colleen, a beautiful old fashioned name, whereas mine was plain Lisa, every Tom Dick and Harry’s name is Lisa.

My sister was 7 yrs younger. She was always my best friend. Even as a toddler I would beg her to come sleep with me (I have NEVER liked to sleep alone). I would even have her walk to the store with me, she was always nice to have around. And I always valued her opinion.

My sister died 11 yrs ago at the young age of 34. Breast Cancer. And you know how you say nice things about a person after they die, well frankly everyone said those things about her when she was alive.

Someone asked me the other day about our relationship and if we ever fought or held a grudge… um…. No. She was always sweet………….. kind, nice, naïve, We never fought. She finally (around 25) learned how to argue but mostly about her kids, she was a Mother Bear when it came to her kids!
Funny thing about her is having the last word! ESPECIALLY with my mother, they are both last word-ers. "No I didn’t" ... "yes you did"... "Ok fine"... "well its not fine" (pretty funny to listen to!)…………….. ("then don’t listen"). And on and on and on.
She was a clothes horse, and VERY selective (PRICE AND VALUE) And don't even get me started on her shoes! (lets just say she was everything a disco princess should be!)

I thought she was spoiled. Even though she was spoiled (in my humble opinion) she was very sweet. That’s the word I keep coming back to. She would ask for something and if my mother didn’t give it to her she would say that she was going to go ask Alice for it!

I always got in trouble for our “disagreements”. ... after all “You are the oldest, you should know better.”

She thought she would grow up to be a poet.

We had our babies a year apart, ‘84,’85,’86, and her third in ‘90. It was fun raising kids together! We did a lot together when she lived in Mountain View, and then she moved to Gilroy where we enjoyed the sun there!
Louisa loved to sing, she had a beautiful Alto voice. During the 90’s she sang in a group in Mountain View/Los Altos , Valparaiso Singers,( I think that was the name) It was fun to see her so happy. She also loved to dance and danced&sang with a performing group in Jr High and High School (out of Los Altos, PGY and “Morning Star”)
When they moved to Gilroy she had to Home School JJ & Jessica since there was no room in public school?? (how does that happen!) But Alex was a different story and she spent the night in the parking lot of the elementary school just to make sure Alex got into a spot in kindergarten there! He needed more of a social outlet! More than she could give. (there’s that mama bear coming out again). She also thrived in helping out in the children’s community theater for the kids who ALL excelled at performing. And as a performer and mother herself she beamed in their joy and talent.

Louisa felt weird in August of ’96. She knew something wasn’t right. They had Kaiser and no one took her seriously till December (and about 8 doctor visits later). She had her one breasts removed in January of '97 and then onto Chemo and radiation. She lost a lot of weight and people always commented how good she looked and what was her secret “Well …..nothing you’d want to try”.
Finally she started feeling normal……… but about February, March of ‘98 again she felt something wasn’t right. Again the Doctors told her it was all in her head, and she was just “nervous”. Around April she demanded more tests, and yes, they found that the cancer had metastasised into her liver, spleen, lungs and brain. It was the tumors in her brain that gave her the most problems, head aches and dizzy spells. It was a long hard summer watching her die. Pain was her constant companion…..also a guardian angel, another young mother. I never put much belief in guardian angels, but Louisa said she had one and she was there to comfort her. She died on Labor day Monday September 7th 1998.

I had a friend in Monterey (‘86-‘87) who had hung out with us when Louisa would come down to visit. Years later we found each other again and after catching up (thru email) she wrote about Louisa: “Louisa was the most beautiful person I ever met and her face, with the light from within, is forever in my memory. I could have stared at her for hours, she was so fabulous. She seemed to be truly good all the way through.”

Yes I miss her. I think of things to share with her all the time. She was more than a best friend, she is my sister

Monte - Louisa's hubby wrote this on his blog:

12 Wonderful People Who Commented:

Flock of Lambs said...

Wow, thank you so much for that! You may not remember me, Kelly Dillender, but I sure do remember your family. I LOVED brother David - he was one of my most favorite Primary teachers. I always thought you and your sister were the prettiest in the whole ward! I even remember holding JJ when Bro. David would bring him into our class. I do think about your family often and how your mom still sends birthday cards. You all have such a sweet spirit, I miss being around such wonderful people like yourself. Thank you!

Lauren said...

:( Sad. Makes me cry. I know you miss your sister... can't imagine losing mine... But at least you know you will be with her again!

montebateman said...

That was beautiful Lisa--you're making me cry (for the third time today)! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings...

kieri said...

I cried and cried reading this. I know I was young, but I miss her too. She was the best aunt and I have many happy memories from the house in Gilroy. I still pull out the note she wrote to me when I go through boxes in my closet, she was so thoughtful of others. She really was just the sweetest person.

Anonymous said...

Oh,my goodness. The tears are flowing for many of us today. Thank you Lisa and Monte for such beautiful memories and photos. Louisa WAS beautiful in so many ways. I loved the year I got a Christmas card with her entire little family on the front in Dickens clothes. They'd all been in the producton of 'The Christmas Carol'. To this day it is one of my all-time favorite Christmas cards! A few weeks ago I was standing at her grave. It took my husband and I a while to find it. As I placed the flowers there and cleared away the branches that had gathered, I found myself missing her fiercely and remembering so many wonderful memories of her. She was and is loved by many. I will always be one of her fans! Sherie (Skinner) Davidson

Luella said...

What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman! I cherish all of my memories with Louisa. I loved having her as one of my sisters-in-law. I am so glad I had the chance to become close to her - I remember her telling me about her guardian angel. Thank you Lisa!

Sue said...

I enjoyed reading about your beautiful sister and am sorry you lost her at such a young age. It's clear that you loved her very much, as did so many of the others who have posted here.

Thanks for sharing a little bit of her with us.

Anonymous said...

I loved reading this about Louisa. She always was so gracious and loving. I loved her and am so blessed to have such good memories. Tammy Bateman

The Fieldings said...

What a beautiful tribute. I always thought Louisa was an angel. I loved our conversations. I am glad my brother married her.

Rachelle said...

Louisa was an angel--she was sweet and beautiful. I feel blessed to have known her.

Rachelle T. said...

Sorry for your loss. It's great that even when she was alive nice things were said about her. That just goes to show that she had good character!

carmen said...

This was just beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I haven't ever had to deal with anything like that, so I have no idea how you must feel. I read something today, that was nice, and made me reflect. You might enjoy it, as well. "If You Could Hie to Kolob"