Today is my sister Angela's birthday. Only she's not here to celebrate.
With a heavy heart, I write that she left this world after much suffering due to an illness that ravaged her body and gave her no quarter. She fought courageously, but lost the battle two days ago. She leaves behind a devoted son and daughter and three loving grandsons, as well as a brother, two sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and a 93 year-old dad.
I want to remember the carefree days when we were young, she only 17 months older than I, as we played together inseparably.
I want to remember how our doting mother clothed us in identical fancy dresses whenever we would go into town for a strawberry sundae at Howard Johnson's - a real treat for a family that rarely ate in restaurants.
I'd like to forget the memories of seeing her in pain in the hospital, and want to hold with me instead, carefree summer days of playing at the shore.
I want to remember her dressed in her finest garb, as she was crowned "queen of the maypole" in elementary school and we danced around a ribboned pole, anchored by my brother Frank, who also left this world four years ago.
I'd like to think that she's with all the loved ones who have gone before me, in a state of eternal bliss. The long struggle is over.
We all love you, and will miss you, Angela.
May you rest in peace.