Saturday, November 1, 2014

Before the Sun Sets

On Friday, October 31, 2014 I received word from my brother-in-law, Robert Kruse, that my sister, Lucille, had passed on February 15.  She would have been 87 this year.  Long issues with skin cancer from over exposure to the sun finally took its toll.

My sister and my brother, Frank, who was 11 years older than I, were my childhood idols as you might imagine.  Frank was the older brother every child would want.  Lucille was the most beautiful girl/woman in the world (to me).  I never got to be as close to either of them as I would have liked, since the age difference from me placed them in a different circle of friends and relatives.  They were closer to my cousins in age.

From what I was told by my mother in later years of my adult life, Lucille doted on me and did much of the caring for me.  I clearly remember how close I felt to her.  After she left home and married the opportunities to get together with her and her family were rare, but always memorable.  My family drove the Alaskan Highway in 1965 to visit them in Anchorage while Bob was stationed there in the Air Force. 

Lucille was not really interested in maintaining close relationships with family members and had made that clear through the years.  I like to feel I was the one exception she made to that preference.  Certainly, whenever we were together it was a wonderful time.  My last visit with her and Bob was several years ago on one of my trips to Tucson to visit my son and his family.  They had a lovely home in the Phoenix area.  We enjoyed great conversation getting up to date on our lives.

Sometime after that Lucille and I had a falling out over what I now realize was a petty difference of interests.  We had no communication of any kind following that event.
The reason I even found out about her death was that in cleaning out my file cabinet I discovered my folder of correspondence with her from a few years before.  I had copies of all her letters to me and those to my mother prior to her passing in 2002.  I re-read every one of them and realized how much she had cared about mom’s well-being in her last years and how warm her correspondence was with me.  I knew without a doubt that I had to write and apologize for my disrespecting her priorities regarding family interests.  Somehow, even as I wrote that final letter to her, I felt it was going to be too late.  It was.  My heart is broken for failing to realize how important our relationship was and how unfortunate it was to not have healed our wounds sooner.

 In the letter Bob wrote to me he recounted how special I was to Lucille and how much she had cared about me.  I cared as much for her.  Yet here I came to the point of realizing the need to ask her forgiveness too late.  I know that there will always be a connection with Lucille, and I feel our healing will, in fact and in truth, be realized.  But I must admit through streaming tears, I wish it could have been here and now.

My point, dear readers, is: “Be ye angry, and sin not:  let not the sun go down on your wrath.” (Ephesians 4:26 KJV) I have often heard this statement in one form or another.  I have not always found it possible to rise to the occasion of implementing that advice.  Perhaps in my sharing of this personal experience each of us, including me, can find the will, the love and the wisdom to forgive and accept forgiveness offered.

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