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.