Saturday, December 29, 2007


It has taken a long time for me to get around to writing about my sister Sarah here.  Perhaps I was afraid I couldn't do her justice.  Maybe a fear I couldn't make her real enough to those who read it.  But through this holiday season she has been on my mind more than little bit.  So now I think it is time to try.  Allow me to tell you about my sissy. 

Mother had been married before Daddy.  She had two beautiful little girls in the 40's.  The oldest was Edna.  The younger was Sarah.  Most of their growing up years it was just them.  Then in 1959 mother wed Daddy.  And in 1960 they were blessed with me.  Well, they at least thought I was a blessing. 

Edna and Sarah were mortified that mother might breast feed me, so I was a bottle baby.  And the two of them played a roll in picking my name; Barbara Lynn.  It was quickly shortened to Barbie.  My earliest memories of Sarah involve a head full of curls and many giggles.  She loved to have fun.  She danced on the edge of being bad, but never crossed over. 

There are memories of rides in automobiles with her and her friends.  The scent of cigarettes, hairspray and open beer bottles mingling.  Sarah taught me to scream much to mother's chagrin.  She'd lock me in the bathroom closet to hear me scream.  But never let it go too long. 

Somewhere before I reached Hannah's age, she had married her high school sweetheart, Eddie and begun a family of her own.  I remember being so jealous over that new baby's attention.  (Sorry Holly)  But Sarah found ways to make it okay, showing me how to fold the clothe diapers and finding other ways to involve me with my young niece's care. 

Sarah is the one I remember baking cookies with.  Rolling out dough.  Cutting shapes.  Decorating.  Eating plenty of raw dough.  Giggling.  She's the one that taught me to put peanuts in my coke.

Sarah taught me to fly a kite in the jenny's pasture beside our house on Cook's road.  She drew a horse on my chalk board so lifelike and real, it's weeks before I erase it. She's the one who showed me to hunt for four leaf clovers and make a daisy chain at her and Eddie's little rent house by the train tracks.  Heaven Scent perfume lingering in the air.

Everything was beautiful to Sarah.  Joy abounded in creation and creatures.  She thought if she could touch a cloud it would feel like cotton candy.  She had a way with animals.  Having them trust her.  Mending them when they were hurt.   I think Hannah has it, too. 

I remember trips to sand bars with Sarah.  Swimming.  Picnicking. Swinging high, so very high on an old rope swing.  Sarah also always knew where the best hamburgers and french fries could be found.  And great songs on the juke box.  "Me and you and a dog named Boo"  "Big Blue Diamond" 

As an adolescent that was sometimes feeling chunky and oh, not so cool Sarah found ways to make me feel special.   Outfits she whipped out by hand.  Perfume.  I think perhaps she was the first person in the family who began to try to treat me as an adult.  Let me stay with her and "see" my boyfriend who lived not far from them. 

High school came for me.  I seem to be more and more busy.  Sarah's life is too.  There is a handsome young son now, Clay.  Sarah works and still finds time to do a thousand mama and wife things.  Her van has a bumper sticker about a women's place is at home and she should go there right after work.  I baby sit some for her in the summer's.  I can't believe she allowed me to care for her children.  All I ever knew of children before mine, was the time I spent with hers. 

The women folk gathering over at Sarah's house to watch an Elvis movie while the men gathered elsewhere to watch Monday night football.

She was left handed, but was known at work for being able to run the calculator with her right hand and copy down the results with her left.  She rode horses with Eddie.  She sewed with or without a pattern.  She was known for sleep walking on occasion and claimed to have sleep driven at least once. 

I graduate high school and go on to college in Nacogdoches.  Sarah and I exchange some letters.  But Edna is the letter writer.  Sarah prefers to catch me on the phone.  Daddy is gone.  Mother has met Polk, Jr. and plans are made for their wedding.

Sarah puts together an idea to take Mother to the Palace in Beaumont to see Conway Twitty for a "bachelorette" party.  Sarah's van packed to capacity with women of all ages.  All linked together one way or another.  On the way down there, I had such an over whelming sense of foreboding.  And it centered around Sarah.  I closed my eyes and silently prayed (and I wasn't all that spiritual then folks) "no Lord.  Not here, not now.  Too many mother's.  Too many lives changed." 

We proceeded to have a wonderful time at the concert.  Mama acted like a teenager when Conway walked by our table in the steak house headed to his private room.  I swear I think she almost swooned.  We all arrived home safely.  The wedding is fast approaching.  Not another thought did I give to my strange feelings that night.

Then one night I am awakened by Mama.  It seems Sarah and Eddie had been out to eat.  They had come home and Sarah thought she needed to tend to a load of clothes out in her laundry room near the house.  She had stepped out the door and down the steps and been bitten by a copper head.  Eddie killed the snake and had her at the hospital.  Polk was taking Mama there.  No need to worry. 

And one moment Sarah was laughing and joking with those in the ER.  And the next she was gone.  Differing opinions of just what happened.  The snake venom?  Perhaps she didn't need the anti-venom?  Perhaps she was allergic?  Perhaps something from the scarlet fever she had as a child caused it?

Does it matter?  Sarah was gone.  Lives forever changed.  She was in her thirties.  I've already out lived her by more than 10 years!

I saw her once more, in a dream.  We were at her house.  She was trying to leave.  I was trying to stop her.  She was trying to reassure me that things here would be alright.  I was left with the impression she was with the baby she miscarried in between Holly and Clay.

But you're in my thoughts Sarah.  You're still sitting on one leg tucked beneath you, sunglasses perched atop your head.  Hand around a mason jar full of ice water.  You are ageless and timeless and will always be with me.    


Precious gifs by Emma.


  1. Oh Barbara....what a beautiful made Sarah so real, so loving, so nearby....thanks for sharing....hugs and a Happy New Year.....Ora

  2. I'm so sorry you lost your sister when she was in the prime of life but you have such beautiful memories. You wrote this interesting entry so well even though I'm sure it is still hard to write about. Thank you for sharing, Paula

  3. How Beautiful..... such wonderful memories....


  5. I think you did great at describing Sarah for us.  She came to life to me as I read your post.  I am so sorry for your loss.  She sounded like a wonderful lady.

  6. Poor Sarah having to leave her children in the prime of her life. You did a very good tribute to her memory and the good times you all had. One day you will be reunited with her. Hugs, Helen

  7. Awww what a wonderful tribute to your sister.  I 'm sorry you lost her at such a young age...  Linda

  8. That is a great tribute, Barbara. Sarah was a good sister to you. May she rest in peace.

  9. thanks for the welcome back; this is a beautiful tribute to your sister! She seems like she was a wonderful woman!


  10. You did a wonderful job telling us of your Sarah.....


  11. Dear Barbara,

    You brought your sister back to life for us through your words which we so full of love and I know you miss her after all these years.  Thank you for a beautiful entry.  

  12. Thank You for sharing and expressing beautifully, such a wonderful insight into  your sister's life. I bet Sarah is so proud of you right now. xx

  13. In sharing this dear girl, your own sister of whom you have these incredible memories, you gave us a gift and a reminder - to always cherish who we have, keep love alive no matter what, and when our loved ones take their next step on this strange journey, lock them away in the safest place in our hearts.  God bless you for revealing this most special person.  xoxo CATHY

  14. Wow I feel like I know her from just reading this.  What a beautiful entry and such sweet memories.  Indeed we miss her.  I want so much to meet her after reading this.  We could have sewn together and done so many things.  I can almost see myself listening to the same songs and being with friends and both of you there. But she lives on in the heart and so many lives she touched.  Sometimes I think God takes special people like this home early so that He can have them there for some unknown reason.  You are right, she is with her baby and so at least she is not alone there and one day we will all be together again and you can hold onto that single hope at least and all of these beautiful and precious memories.  One day we will all be together soon.  I wish I could say something more meaningful.  Nothing really helps ease that loss when we lose someone though to heaven early.  I am so glad you shared your memories with us.  

  15.  What a beautiful tribute to a much loved sister.  


  16. you leave me bawling with this one Barbara- What a beautiful story about a beautiful woman.  It's good that you have so many good memories of your sisters, and it makes the rest of us (I hope) not to take our sisters- or other family for granted.  What a touching entry.  Thak you for sharing Sarah with us.  God Bless~  Carolyn

  17. Such excellent thoughts you posted in my journal today!!!  Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on the subject of rapture.  I just wanted to come back and tell you how much I agree.  LOL we must have been raised at the same church or something.  LOL.  I was so excited to read your comment about this wonderful subject.  

  18. What a beautiful tribute to Sarah and a horrible way for her to die.  My son and I were walking down by the pond a few months ago and we almost stepped on a copperhead.  It was a younger one.  Had I not seen it move, we would have.  This is a beautiful entry.  I know how it feels to lose a sibling.  I started a journal about Scottie, my brother that died in 1999.  Now that I am unemployed, perhaps I will have more time to write.

    Happy New Year!~


  19. Your Sarah was about the same age as my sister Vickey when she died (her daughter died as well in the same car accident)... one day I'll write a tribute to her, but like you said, maybe I'm afraid I won't do her memory justice. So sad when we lose a young sister like that. She was my baby sister. Your tribute to Sarah is beautiful, sad... so tragic that one so young has to leave unexpectedly. Beautiful story. Ageless and timeless, yes. bea

  20. Sounds like very sweet memories of a sister well loved and missed

  21. Sarah sounds like a lovely woman and a wonderful sister. I am sorry she didn't get to stay with you longer!


  22. You did your sister more than justice with this telling. What a beautiful, haunting rememberance of a such a lovely soul. Thank you for sharing this with us. Sarah I believe still smiles down on you. (Hugs) Indigo

  23. Oh Barbara, this was a beautiful entry.  You painted such a lovely picture of a beloved sister.  It seems that she packed a lot of living into her short life.

  24. Barbara you always have such a beautiful way of relating a story. We cant help getting caught up in it and actually feeling like a part of it. Your family sounds so lovely. After knowing you for years now I can say for sure, You are beautiful.
    Love you, vee

  25. Barbara, this is the first time I have ever read your journal, what a wonderful tribute to Sarah, she sounds like the sister I always wanted.  I can tell she loved you and of course you've shown how much you loved her by the words that you've chosen.  A beautiful entry, thank you for telling us about her.  Love, Pat

  26. Dearest Barbara,
    Sarah was such a wonderful, exuberant person ! She seems to be in your mind  a lot.
    I am very sorry and I am deeply saddened by your loss. I know in my heart she is shining on us somewhere up there! I love you Barb!


So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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