I’ve been thinking of my sister Joyce more than usual lately. The Anniversary of her was a couple of weeks ago.
As sisters, you would think we would have enjoyed a lifetime together. But that wasn’t the case for us. We were 16 years apart, and she was gone from the family home and married before I can remember her. What I do remember is a bossy sister who tried to control me. Add to that, I come from a dysfunctional family. More dysfunctional than the usual crazy aunts and grumpy fathers. And so, as adults, we did not see each other or speak.
So it came as a shock when my two older sisters entered my life when I was in my 40s. And it was a further shock when my oldest sister Joyce was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer just 4 months later.
In the short time we shared, she taught me about confidence. Perseverance. Pushing past my fear. Embracing life. Then, at her funeral, she taught me that I let those who had abused me win by not living my life the way I was meant to. I was giving them my past, present and future. My sister gave me so many of the life lessons I share today in my shows and online. I am forever indebted to her.
Why tell you all this? First to share a piece of my history. But mostly to let you know that
We can learn life lessons during our darkest times.
No matter our age, it is never too late to change.
When I sing Over the Rainbow (an often requested song), I look up to the sky at the end. It began in the show I toured about the late Eva Cassidy. I would look to heaven and toast Eva at the end of the show. In part, I was. But if I’m honest, I was looking up at my sister and saying, “Look, sis. I’m here on stage. I didn’t give up. I hope you’re proud of me.”
I hope she is.