Today is the day I lost my oldest sister, Wendy. She was like a mother to me. Even more so after my parents died. She was only 45. Her husband, Brad, died less than two months before she did. He was 46. They both had cancer.
Brad was like brother to me. He and Wendy had dated forever. We're talking junior high here. I can remember being 6 years old and Brad picking me up to give me a hug. Not a day goes by that I don't miss Wendy and Brad. I'm blessed to have had them in my life.
After Wendy died, I cleaned out her closets and drawers. Most of her clothing didn't fit me, but I found a brown sweater. I call it my Wendy Sweater, and whenever I want to fill her arms around me in a big sisterly hug, I wear that sweater. It's like being wrapped in love and warmth all day.
There are many things I loved about Wendy. But one of the things I loved the most was her passion for life, her ability to go into a room and make everyone smile. She made you feel like you were the most important person there. Besides my mom, who died two years before her at age 61, Wendy wanted to read everything I wrote. The first book I wrote she asked to read. Looking back, it wasn't very good. But she told me how much she liked it and couldn't wait to see it published. She was my biggest cheerleader. I will never forget that. It's something that's missing in my life. Not that I don't have people who would love to see me succeed, but not anyone like her. She was SURE I would succeed.
I'm still trying, Wen. And I know you're waiting in Heaven, cheering me on.