Monthly Archives: September 2020

For Always in my Heart

Soft, velvety cheeks. A round rosy nose. Dark hair like mine, but curly. Eyes, blue that sparkled like the ocean I’d seen in storybooks. I kissed her sweet-smelling face. Her soft, pudgy hand with tiny fingers, curled inside mine.

My sister, Anna, melted my heart. I won’t be alone anymore. I caressed her cheeks and whispered, “I’ll stay by your side for always.”

Soon left with the responsibility of caring for Anna, I became her substitute mother. I loved her and took care of her as best as a seven-year-old could.

Before I knew it, my baby sister turned two. Whatever we did, doing it together was more fun than being alone.

One particular evening, as I gazed into my sister’s baby-blues, a sudden feeling of sorrow swept over me. Tears clouded my eyes. Something burned within my chest. I cried out, “Please God, don’t let nothing bad happen to her!”

Anna gazed at me with her gentle, trusting eyes.

“I’ll protect you,” I whispered to her. “For always.”

Before bedtime, we repeated a child’s prayer Grandma taught me, one that hung on the wall:

“. . . I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep . . .”

That night I clung to my sister and kept the strange premonition to myself.

My legs trembled as I crept to her room and peered through the glass-pane door on my tiptoes. I saw a blinking monitor. Then I saw her—my baby sister—with soiled feet, still in her little, green denim dress, tattered and torn. She lay motionless on her back, her curly, brown hair matted with blood. Her face bruised and swollen, her baby blues closed tight.

I felt light-headed as I slumped on the floor, pulling my knees to my chest, crying.

At the funeral, I held my breath and willed my feet toward the small white casket.

Grandma squeezed my hand. I took my finger and stroked my sister’s face, which reminded me of a plastic doll’s, stiff and cold to the touch. Heavy makeup could not conceal her bruises. Her little head—now swollen from the blow of the car that hit her—was cradled by a bonnet, much too small. She wore a new green dress, cleaned and pressed, without stains. Nor traces of blood.

I glanced up at Grandma. “Your sister’s in a better place now,” she choked. Then I placed a small cross under Anna’s tiny, rigid hands. My tears blinded me.

“. . . If I should die before I wake, I pray thee, Lord, my soul to take.”

Excerpt from “Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace

Each year as her birthday approaches, I think about how special my baby sister has always been to me. But those memories turn bittersweet, as it is difficult for me to separate how quickly we had to say goodbye to her, just a month after celebrating her 2nd birthday. Her memory will forever live in my heart, and for that I am grateful.

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Filed under Memoir, sibling loss

Laughter is the Best Medicine

“It was a special night for me in Sugar Land, TX, while visiting with sis, I got to see my Special friend, and my favorite Author, of my favorite book! Mary A. Pérez, the author of my favorite book, “Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace.” Mary Ann is definitely my hero! I know one day this will be made into a movie.

While reading this book, there was not an emotion I didn’t feel. But the best part of all ~ It has a beautiful and happy ending!” ~ Rhonda Irvin


Note by Author:
Such a joyous moment. What can I add but to say: It does my heart good, knowing that my story – flaws and all – has blessed another. I shared my memoir that others may know that there is help for the helpless, hope for the hopeless, and forgiveness for the inexcusable. Contrary to popular belief, your past does not define your future. With God, ALL things are possible! In Him we live, move and have our being!

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Where Were You?

Sometimes an event occurs and time stands still.

I know I shall never forget …

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Alan Jackson got inspiration to write his song "Where Were You.." as a tribute to all of the people who lost their lives that day.

 

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Filed under 911, Sept. 11