Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Can't Find Anything Good Enough

Saturday we will celebrate a birthday for my sister, Gay. She doesn't look any older than she did last year at this time, but with the sadness we have shared, she has aged inside, as I have. I wish everyone had a sister like Gay. I am afraid I have taken her love and her caring for granted many times, and I am sorry. She has been my closest confidante throughout my life. She has been a nurturer and a cheer leader for all of us who are close to her, my nieces Lyn and Lee, and their mother, June.

From the time we were young, I admired my little sister. In school, although a shy person, she played clarinet in the band and made majorette, one of the cutest ever seen at Albany High.

Majorette for Albany High School Band
She always had my back. We were so close that sometimes my brothers thought of us as one person. If I gave an opinion in a discussion, they assumed Gay held the same position, and vice versa. But we are two separate people with different lives and different ideas about many subjects. I often ask her advice.

Gay is an artist with talent in several areas of the arts. I have her pet portraits hanging on my walls. I have one of her sculptures on a table in my living room. I have published one of her stories on my blog. Gay loved to dance and earned a special degree with emphasis on Modern Dance. She sings in the choir at church and one of my brothers once said she had the best voice of any of the seven of us. That was a large compliment as my brothers sang professionally at one time.
Gay is the one in the middle as they dance on the campus at UGA
As I think about her birthday coming up, I think how bereft of joy our lives would have been if she had not survived pneumonia that threatened her life when she was an infant. She was the last baby, but was not spoiled. June, who was old enough to be Gay's mother, said she wouldn't take a million dollars for this baby.
Gay Council 
I was never lonely growing up because I had Gay. We shared a bedroom, double-dated, and I changed colleges to go to her school. We even shared a room at the university. Together we could accomplish anything, and we have some family stories about our working together. 
The tall one is me, and Gay is the small one .
When doctors gave up on Mother after her stroke and recommended we find a place for her in a nursing home, Gay and I would not. My sweet sister left her husband in Cincinnati to come and be a round-the-clock caregiver. She stayed a month. I lived close by and continued my part time job, but came every afternoon to help Gay. Because we brought her home and worked with her, Mother regained memory she had lost and enjoyed the last ten years of her life surrounded by family. She and my father were together for their 60th anniversary. That would not have happened without Gay.

Mother and Gay 

After Barry died, Gay was there for me at all times. I don't know how I would have managed if she had not supported me and helped me both emotionally and physically with all I faced.

I watched Gay's same loving spirit as she nurtured June in her last years. She wanted to bring her sister into her home and care for her, but it was not possible, so she spent hours each day trying to improve the quality of June's life. I know June appreciated it. She told me.

How can anyone find a birthday gift good enough for such a selfless, generous, kind and loving person? I don't know. If anyone has any ideas, please tell me.


DJan said...

To have a sister like you, to share so much of your life, I would think she would be the first one to tell you that knowing how you feel (like in this post) is a fantastic present! :-)


What a lovely lovely tribute to Gay. I think that's your gift. Print and tie a ribbon round it, girl. That kind of tribute can't be bought. It's a gift from the heart. Nothing less would do.
I loved every word, the photos added depth. Those would work too with your written letter to her. Something for her to read over and wonder how you could love her so much. So appreciate your sharing this piece. Blessings to you Gay.

My books available on Amazon.
Vada Faith, a women's mainstream, ironically about twin girls and their disagreements (and so much more)
Ezra and Other Stories, a collection of short stories about people who count.

Lyn Hunter said...

Happy Birthday Gay! Love you so much. You are so special, kind and loving!!! Enjoy your special day!

Lise said...

I think this post is a gift Gay would treasure! It is filled with loving memories...perhaps you could print this and make a small hand made book of it.

Happy birthday to Gay!

Beverly Smith Herrington said...

I love the sisterhood y'all share ... WhAT A FAMILY!

~ Beverly Smith Herrington
P.S. I hope this "takes" ... I have no idea what I'm doing (smile)!

Lee said...

You just gave her a wonderful gift in this post!!! You 2 have always had a special relationship. What a gift you have been to each other. Thank you for sharing your memories and thoughts and I love the photos!!! Happy birthday Aunt Gay!!!

Glenda said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments. Although I call myself a writer, it seems there are no words to express the deep feelings I have for my dear family, especially Gay.
But I think you are right. Maybe this is the gift - I hope you like, Gay.
Happy Birthday - celebrate you all week.
Heck, you deserve a month!

Gay said...

You are all so right! What a wonderful gift you have given me, Glenda, with this loving tribute. I will treasure it forever.I'm glad you took Lise's advice and made the book for me. I so wish that I could write the way you do and handle all the media...blogs, facebook, etc...the way you do so I could give you a tribute in return and share it with the world. This is trite, but to borrow from the song..YOu have always been the "wind beneath my wings" and so much more. thank you for being you and being my sister. Thanks to all who sent their birthday wishes. I have had a wonderful day and feel blessed to receive such a show of love as this has been.

Joan Ellen Gage said...

Glenda, I think you could write a poem for Gay, also.

Happy birthday, Gay!

Blessings, Glenda!

Anonymous said...


It would be useless for you to search for a special gift for your sister. She has always had the most special gift in the world. She was born with it and it was you. Your well crafted words and the many memories you two have shared cannot be found in any store nor catalog.

May you both be blessed with many more Council girl memories together.

Diana Shuster