Two years ago today I awoke to the news that my little sister had left this world and made her final journey to that next place. I had no words then to fully capture the cold sting that death leaves in the heart and soul of those who remain behind and I don’t have them now.
As I look at this photo, I can remember my step mother had the hardest time to get the Feimster household together in the same room long enough for us to take a family photo. Yet come hell or high water, she was determined we would have a family photo taken. Given there is a fighting spirit embedded in the Feimster household philosophy, I’m pretty sure at the time she could have described the process as nothing less than a struggle equal to herding cats.
I need not tell anyone how thankful and blessed I am for our matriarch’s unwavering determination, strong will, and steadfast devotion to our family unit which allowed her to achieve this otherwise simple goal bc now this picture is one of the only photos I have with my late sister.
To my friends in my network reading this now, and for those who may read this is the coming days, there is an important and yet simple lesson for all who remain earthly and among the living. That lesson is that though other things may change us, we start and end with family. Do not discount or ignore this fundamental wisdom.
Unfortunately, one day a hard truth will scribe itself on your heart and that truth is that all those you love will die. One of the first complete sentences God spoke to Adam was a curse; “Cursed is the ground for thy sake”. That curse is directly stating that because we ate of the forbidden fruit, we must be plagued with mortality. That is to say, because we are sinful and evil is in our hearts (since the very beginning), we must die. Though God still wants us to live eternally by His side and in His presence, we must first suffer death. Whether you believe in the God of Isreal or not, I do believe that our mortality is a matter of fact and not opinion (give credit to the whomever source you prefer).
So don’t let any naysayer deceive you into believing you shouldn’t snap that selfie at family gatherings and share it with the world with a boastful heart filled with an endless love for your brothers and sisters. Whether you are the favorite or black sheep matter not; take that selfie.
If in your family you were the prodigal child, then as you look back and the tears begin to fall down your cheek, may you feel God’s unending love in knowing that your life’s foundation started upon the shoulders of giants. If however you were the black sheep (and we all are to some degree as we strive to find our individual identity apart from the collective other), may you look back and feel His unending love for the divine wisdom bestowed to you which comes part and parcel and known only to the black sheep. In either event, family is nothing short of a divine blessing.
I’ll end my soapbox sermon (for now) on that note and conclude that you may not get to choose your family, but someone or something did, call it the universe if you will, and it’s forever and always solely your responsibility to discover the life lessons embedded within your unique circumstances.
To my late sister, there is nothing I could say then or can say now which fully expresses the hole you’ve left in our hearts. I will only share again what I shared 2 years ago this day which is a poem titled “Broken Chain.”
We little knew that day that God was going to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly, In death, we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you. You did not go alone.
For part of us went with you, The day God called you home.
You left us beautiful memories, Your love is still our guide.
And although we cannot see you, You are always at our side.
Our family chain is broken, And nothing seems the same,
But as God calls us one by one, The chain will link again.