Peggy is having a birthday on February 13th.
I spent almost an hour in a card shop trying to find an appropriate birthday card to send to her.
I read many cards and wiped the tears away as they pooled in my eyes. I noticed that people were looking at me but no one approached or asked me what was wrong. I felt foolish as I read the cards and cried but my tears had a mind of their own.
What kind of a birthday card does one buy for a sister that doesn't remember that we are sisters. What kind of a birthday card does one buy for a sister who doesn't remember what a birthday is any longer?
All of the cards said things like....
Sister, do you remember when we were little and had so much fun?
I'd like to talk on your special day and laugh like we used to do.
I'm glad that we are sisters and still share so much.
I read the cards and replaced each of them and then picked up another card to read.
There were no cards that I felt were appropriate for Peggy.
I found myself getting a little cynical and thought of a card line for loved ones who are dying.
Cards that would say...
So sorry that you are dying but have a Happy Birthday anyway.
Happy Birthday, I wish you remembered what a birthday is but have a ball on your day!
Have a happy birthday even though you have forgotten that I am your sister.
Happy Birthday from your sister, I wish you remembered what a sister is but since you don't... Have a great day anyway!
Birthday wishes from the stranger that calls you every day.
Sorry that you don't remember your life but celebrate your birthday in style!
Too bad that you have Alzheimer's disease but hope you have a Great Birthday anyway!
Thinking those thoughts was the only way that I could deal with the sweetness of all the sister cards that I read.
I would cry reading a card and then think of what the card might say if it were my new line of "sorry your dying" cards. I couldn't help but smile when I would think of what a card might say from my cynical card line.
I realize that it was just a way to deal with the grief that I was feeling while reading the birthday cards for sisters.
I know that the people in the card shop thought I had gone a little over the edge. Actually, I was holding on to the edge with my fingernails.
What was interesting is that no one, in the hour that I was there reached out to me. Every one went about their business while tears ran down my face. It would have felt wonderful if someone had cared enough to ask about my tears. I think that most people didn't want to interrupt me or just didn't know what to say.
If you are ever in a card shop and see someone crying while reading cards. Please take the time to say hello. You don't need to say anything brillant......just hand them a kleenex and ask if they need anything. Chances are that they will say, no but your taking the time to reach out to them will help more than you know.
I wasn't alright while I tried to find a birthday card to send to my sister who continues to disappear from my life.
I did finally find a card for Peggy that read.......
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY WONDERFUL SISTER.
Sometimes it takes years to understand what having a sister is all about.
When we were younger, you were "just my little sister".
But now, I truly appreciate the special person you are...
And I realize just how much having you for a sister means to me.
WITH LOVE ON YOUR SPECIAL DAY!
It makes me sad that Peggy will not understand what the card says or that it is from me but.....
Happy Birthday, Peggy.
I hope that next year I will still get the chance to buy you another card. I hope that I will have another birthday to celebrate for you.
I remember, Peggy. Yes, I remember.
I remember the day you were born and I remember your birthday's. I remember so many of your birthdays with smiles, birthday cakes, candles and fun.
I am sad that you have forgotten your birthday but I remember and...
That's what a big sister does.....
She remembers for you when you have forgotten.
Peggy, I know that chance made us sisters but our hearts made us friends and I miss you, my friend.
So happy birthday to my forever friend from your sister.
A sister that will always remember..... for you.
I Love You Today!