A few months before my 60th birthday, I pondered how I wanted to celebrate it. I had had big celebrations for my 40th and 50th. I thought "quietly" sounded good for such a large number! What I didn't expect was that a month and a half before my 60th, my younger sister would suddenly pass away.
My sister had suffered with rheumatoid arthritis from the time she was 18 until her death at 55. She had been declining for years, but the last couple had really taken a toll on her. Every time she went downhill, she managed to bounce back. This time she couldn't. It was shocking for my older sister and I to see her go even though we knew it was best for her after struggling so valiantly year after year.
On my 60th birthday, my older sister and her husband gave me a cake and presents, and it was nice.
I had flown back East to my deceased sister's home, and we were cleaning out her things so we could sell them. The day was the best it could be; yet, I still couldn't believe this was how I was celebrating 60 years of my life — it felt surreal.
My sister was my best friend. She never judged me or my family. I could tell her anything, and she would just listen. Seeing her go also reminded me that it is my time to live. I have a wonderful husband and son, and I know I have a finite amount of time to do things with them both that we enjoy. You never know what life will bring to you. I know what matters are the people who are in your life whether they are family or friends. Those who are here now and those whom you have loved and have passed on are what comprises the imprint we call our life. I am fortunate to have had 60 years surrounded by people past and present whom I loved and who loved me back.