December 22, 2018
It has been 4 years since our family received Rose Anna’s cancer diagnosis, two years since she passed. The shock and sadness of her loss still feels the same.
Rose Anna occupied the fourth spot in our family of ten, the third daughter of five girls and sister to five boys. Rose Anna had the unique ability, like a link in a chain, to complete the circle no matter how large it became and she did it with dignity and grace.
Rose Anna was the adhesive when things seemed broken; she was the smiling face when the rest of world often felt sad. There is a lot to be said for those in our lives that hold things together when life seems to be falling apart. Rose Anna was always the one in the downtown crowd to turn a frown upside down.
It was as if Kahil Gibran had Rose Anna in mind when he wrote about giving; “You give of little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” Rose Anna was all about giving and she did it with all her heart and all of her soul.
Rose Anna is the once in a lifetime Comet that streaks across our night sky, burning bright while she was here and upon her leaving we were left wondering of all things that could have been.
For me, remembering Rose Anna is like looking into a slow burning fire, the memories of her take me on a journey deep within, where sometimes the unimaginable can become real, a safe place in my soul, where my favorite fairy tales of her can come true.
It is not to say that my sister was super human or she was with out flaws, but it was how she made you feel when you were around her that means all the world to you now that she is gone.
There is a passage in the book TheTao of Pooh that reminds me of the philosophy of Rose Anna, in it, it speaks of a river. For it knew where it was going, and it said to itself. “There is no hurry. We shall get there someday.”
Even as a young child Rose Anna possessed wisdom well beyond her years, I feel she knew she would need it when she grew up to become a hairdresser and a mother. I can’t say for sure but being the fourth child in a row of ten, I believe she learned well how to be a good listener and it served her life well. Sitting in her salon chair was all the therapy one would need as she was one to put you at ease as soon as you sat down, whether you needed a haircut or not.
The world according to Rose Anna was not always what you thought you wanted to hear, but in most cases it was what you got and a lot of what you could actually use. As blunt as she could sometimes be was just as caring as she always was.
It is not uncommon in my times of sorrow to find myself laughing through tears and it is with the fondest of memories I remember having her close for all those years.
I miss you little sister.