Friday, November 18, 2005



(Meg, Busy and Me)
at my daughter's Bat Mitzvah

My sisters are two cool chicks. If I could spend every day of my life with them, it would never be enough. Unfortunately, they are in the Midwest and I have to settle for once or twice a year. But when we're together - it's a ball!
My mother had 4 kids in 5 years. We have a brother, we speak occasionally but we're not close. I feel a little bad about that - but it's more by his choice. And he's let it go on so long that - I'm sure he thinks he'd never fit into our little clique. We'd love to embrace him - but he WOULD never fit in to the sister clique.

My mother gave us all classic names. Mine is Katherine, and my sisters are Margaret and Elizabeth. Margaret always disliked her name, she found it "dumpy" so now we call her Meg. When Elizabeth was born, Meg couldn't say her name - she said Busybeth. So for her entire life she's been Busy.

I am the oldest, with Meg three years behind, and Busy another 18 months after that. Since my brother is between Meg and me, we were often referred to as Katherine, Tom, and the little girls. When we were growing up, I always felt like I was ages older than them. They were very close, and I was an outsider. But now we're just about as close as three sisters can be.

Meg is so delightful - and her life has dealt her a lousy hand. I think she's through the worst of it - and we're seeing her re emerge as the dynamic person she is. She's just out of a 20 marriage to a VERY controlling man. So controlling that he would decide what she needed to pack to go to mom's for the weekend or when her purse needed to be cleaned out. She once told me she'd never risk so much as putting a bulb in the ground - it just wouldn't be in the right spot. But that's behind her and we've got her back.

Meg is THE consummate nature lover - but especially the creepy crawly things. As a little girl she'd go after a snake or a salamander or an insect with fascination. She spent some time as a state park naturalist and part of her gig was doing the snake talks. I know she was great because she could pick up a big old snake and let it wind around her arm without flinching. And because her interest was so deep - she knew all about them (and most other indigenous creatures). She's a great storyteller with a wicked sense of humor. I can picture her at a campfire with the crowd enthralled.

Now she's a high school biology teacher in a rough district. She loves her material, but the students have very little interest in applying any effort to learning. And a lot of the kids are troublesome. She has kids in class with house arrest bracelets, she's had kids who one day didn't show up because the shot someone, she's had boys expecting multiple babies (with different moms) in the near term. But even with this, she is dedicated to trying to whet their interest. She works hard on plans and activities that might grab them. And she has a lot of living things in the room. She says - if nothing else, they all love the animals. Meg once told me that it would be best if she could have enough animals in her class that every student could hold one. When they have an animal they calm down and pay more attention. She can see the child that still exists behind these tough exteriors.

Busy is just that! She's a nurse and a mom and a barrel of laughs and my sweetheart. Busy was the baby - and she had a rough go as far as us older kids were concerned. We teased her mercilessly - called her stupid and dumb baby. Even though the adults (my parents friends) all though she was SOOOO CUTE and gave her tons of attention, our taunts did their damage. She was not a high achiever in school or in college. Her adult life started out very rough. Then one day she announced - she was going to become a nurse.

No one had a lot of confidence in her in the beginning but she showed us all in the end. I admire her so much for her commitment and accomplishment. She became a nurse, and I can imagine none better. She smart and sweet and compassionate. She must also be very patient - but I think maybe she uses that up at the hospital because she usually CLAIMS she has not patience at home. And she has the ability to work like a wild woman. She has worked two jobs and incredibly long hours. I can't imagine working as much at such a demanding vocation. She impresses the hell out of me. We talk as often as we can, by phone or IM - but no matter how much, it's never enough. And we have an unspoken pact. We never end a conversation, or chat, or even a voice message without saying "I love you!"

I have two recent stories regarding the support and friendship we share. The first has to do with that ugly 4 letter word DIET. All three of us have struggled with weight at one time or another. When we were together last summer, I was the thin one. I think I have finally mastered the religion of weight management. Meg was having a terrible time and confided in me that she had found her FAVORITE donuts at a convenience store on the way to work. I said Meg, you are stronger than a donut. You have to drive by and flip off those donuts. F**k the gd donuts! Well, we all became hysterical - and for the remainder of the evening, we enthusiastically flipped off ANYTHING that might be the least bit tempting. We’d flip off rolls or salad dressings or cake - and then just break out laughing. But we were kind of doing it on the sly, behind my mother's back. She wouldn't find it funny. But being covert made it even funnier to us. Mom would walk out of the room and we'd flip something off with gusto chanting F**k the gd (fill in the blank)!' I'm thrilled to report that since we developed our plan, Meg has lost a boatload of weight. It's beautiful.

The other story has to do with our cabin. (See The Lake below) It's still there, it's in terrible disrepair. We go out at least one time when I visit in the summer, but two summers ago we decided we had to sleep out there just so we could get up early and have coffee on the deck as the sun came up over the lake. So we did. We trooped out there with our kids and our sleeping bags and settled in with the spiders and the wood boring bees and the ants. I don't know that anyone slept all that well. But we got up to a beautiful morning. The sun was over the lake, the water crystal clear. It was a sparkly day. We sipped coffee that morning and soaked up that early sun and reveled in the company of sisters.....and then we went for a swim!

Written by sunflowerkat321 .

This entry has 1 comments:
You have such wonderful sisters, and this is a beautiful tribute to them. I hope they can read this. I have one sister, and she, like your sisters, lives far away. I never feel alone as long as I know she is somewhere sharing this earth with me. Sisters rock!!!!!!Comment from
karensull12 - 1/8/04 10:11 PM

This entry has 2 comments: (Added after Meg's death..8/3/05)

I see Phinney and I are on the same wavelength:) I also wanted to revisit some of your family entries. I hope all of your sisters saw these marvelous tributes.Comment from donah42 - 8/5/05 11:29 AM

I never read back this far in your journal. I am here today, looking to learn about your beloved sister. I hope this doesn't make you sad, but I wanted to seek out something to know who she was. Much love, PhinneyComment from geminiwilder - 8/4/05 12:41 AM


Cynthia said...

I'm crying as I read this, thinking about your terrible loss, but what a rich and wonderful relationship y'all have had. I wish my sister and I had that. I thought we might come close to it at one point, but it takes respect from both sides. You're in my heart today. Posting these old entries and going through the memories must be very bittersweet.

alphawoman said...

I am so touched by this entry.

ckays1967 said...

oh my God Kat.....

I just realized that you wil find what I found when you copy over your journal, lots of memories, tears, laughter and some huge heartache.

Be gentle with yourself.

I will keep you in my total prayers. I am linking you new home..

ckays1967 said...

PS: Do you know you can change the date to match the original posting date and time and then your journal will archive and look just like home? It is on the bottom of the post entry section and the years go all the way back to 1990.

Tess said...

That must have been a wonderful time, then and now to relive!

Paul said...

I hadn't read this before (you know I'd seen the photograph). It is so wonderful that have have this written and saved from before the tragedy. Why is my screen all blurry?

Stacy said...

Hi Kat!
Here I am again-love this new look of your journal!!! Love the picture too!!!!

BoiseLadie said...

Kat, I'm hopping from one journal to another, finding links to all my old AOL friends. I've browsed through the entries you've re-posted here so far. This particular one pulled at my heart. Copying over the AOL entries here to this new journal will be lots of work, full of happiness and heartache, while reliving some of the emotions and memories of times gone by. Thinking of you today...

Judith HeartSong said...

oh Kat..... I knew this shot as soon as I saw it and I want to say that I am so sorry for your loss and send my love....

Val said...

Beautiful ladies!

Tami said...

Kat, you and your sisters look so happy in this picture. This a beautiful entry. I love the look of your journal. I'm slowly moving mine as well.
Take care.

TJ said...

Your entry really touched me. I have two sister and we are milky ways apart. One is 13 months younger and lives 15 minutes from me, she distanced herself long ago to protect her lifestyle.
The other is 17 YEARS younger.
I have tried...we just are to far apart for to many reason..I envy you.

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alphawoman said...

I was reading your new entry about the dream and scrolled down to this wonderful picture and realized that the names of my sisters are so similiar...Margaret is Peggy, Catherine is Kit, and Mary. (me) Love this picture.

V said...

I remain so sorry for your loss.