Monday, March 05, 2007


I've let too much time go by without posting.

We're back home, missing snow.

I'm revising Starletta's Kitchen and planning to give a writing workshop at a major insurance company tomorrow for a dozen of its marketing folks.

And I'm keeping watch, via phone and email, on my half-sister back east who is close to death. Sylvia is who I write about at the beginning of the chapter in Pen on Fire called "Using the Ones You Love," the chapter that begins with: "Multiple marriages, remarriages and bigamy run in my family. My dad married my mother while he was still married to his first wife. My half-sister divorced her first husband, married her second husband, divorced him and remarried the first; and when he died, she remarried the second, who had been waiting for her for ten years."

After I sent Sylvia the book, she said she liked it, "especially the part about me."

Sylvia was from my father's first family. She was older than my mother, so you can imagine the jolt to her family when my father, a native Sicilian, left her mother and the family for my mother. Must have been a major drag for everyone involved.

So now Sylvia's in the hospital. I spoke to her the other day. She told me she hoped she would get into heaven.

"If you don't, Sylvia, none of us will."

"I don't know," she said, kinda slurry.

There were a lot of "I love you's" and she then she said, "I'll see you in heaven." So she must have decided she would get in after all. Yesterday a priest gave her Last Rites.


deirdre said...

Oh, my heart is aching for you. I lost my wild sister 17 months ago, and she promised to keep a room ready for me too. Heaven might well be *the* place to be.

Becca said...

Sorry to hear about your sister...I rememeber reading about your "wild family" in Pen on Fire.

Peace to you...

jordan said...

I've heard heaven and hell explained this way: There is no hell - only heaven. Everybody gets to sit with God. The very good get to sit a little closer. Don't worry.

~jolene said...

The one thing I have learned these past 15 months since my Mom's passing Barbara -- they NEVER really leave you -- take comfort in that.

Deborah said...

Dear Barbara,

I should hope someone remembers me as warmly. Your tribute to her is very moving.