Sunday, June 12, 2011

Magnolias for Karen

A few weeks ago, I mentioned my magnolia tree and a special story behind it.
We once lived in a neighborhood with a wonderful tradition.
Each Spring, magnolia trees were presented to residents who had welcomed a new addition or bid farewell to a family member during the previous twelve months.
In the Spring of 1998, I received a tree in memory of my sister Karen.


Karen was my only sibling, and two years older.
She was the typical big sister, always teasing me, telling me what to do, and how to do it.


She was always pretty as a picture!


We stood by each other's side as vows were repeated.


We became mothers and watched our children grow.
We were very much alike in some ways, and very different in others.

Those differences became very real as we dealt with and grieved our mother's death from cancer.
Two years later, Karen's diagnosis with cancer would bring us full circle.
We both swallowed our pride and buried our bitterness and differences.
I was by her side when she left us to join Mother.
Only eight months had passed since we first learned of her cancer.
I could not believe that we would not grow old together.

In the months that followed her death, we placed our home on the market and made plans to move to a different part of the metroplex.  The magnolia tree remained in its container and followed us.
It now is planted in our front yard -- a reminder of a special neighborhood and a special sister.


Today would have been her 59th birthday.
I miss her more now than that day we said farewell.
Happy Birthday, Karen!

Passing time can never fade
All the special memories made;
Loved ones never really part
For they live inside your heart.

5 comments:

Michelle May (Shell) said...

She was beautiful. As is the tree planted in her memory.
xx, shell

Kellie said...

Treasured memories... remember the good, forget the bad, and make the most of today! I cannot see a daisy that I don't remember my mother!

Rachel said...

Jan, what a wonderful tribute to your sister. I am sorry for your pain, but thankful for all the happy memories you hold.
Hugs!

Ellie Inspired said...

Jan, this post brought tears to my eyes. I also have a sister I'm very close to and when she moved far away to be a missionary shortly after getting married, it was so hard to rethink what my life was going to be like without her, raising our kids across an ocean from each other. I think the magnolia tree is a wonderful memory and tribute to your sister. She was beautiful and you have wonderful memories. ((Hugs))

Eloise said...

What a beautiful tribute to your beautiful sister. Karen is still very much remembered in this community. I run across her name in Chi Omega and HPISD references from time to time. What a tremendous loss it was for so many when she died.

I loved looking at your pictures and hearing the story of the magnolia tree.

Love and hugs to you.

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