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Sissy

July 1, 2021

Today the girls and I were driving. They are going together to their first day of camp… Just the two of them..

Sisters..

I thought it.

Sisters. ..

But horribly incomplete.

I kept the thoughts to myself. I didn’t want to hurt them. . make them feel less than.. Or just bring up something sad on a happy day.

I am not sure that was the right choice to make

Mama.. how old would Jennifer be? Would she be a teenager? Would she be able to come with us?

The questions came at me from he back seat.. From each girl.. Moments of pause in between as they seemed to absorb or marinate on the answers..

And then her name. Somehow I felt it coming.

Sissy.

Bridgette.. can I call you Sister at camp.

No. (this girl is no nonense!)

Ok what can I call you?

And I swallowed. The boys rarely called her Jennifer. Really I rarely called her Jennifer.. She was buggers.. Jennifer Lynn.. bugs..

And he favorite always. ALWAYS.

Sissy and Sissy Miss.

When she died Tony and I buried those cherished words with her..

But. What a beautiful powerful word Sissy is. It is personal. Connecting. Protective.

Damnit. Have I stolen that from my little girls? From her little sisters?? From her brothers?

Ok what about sissy or sis?

Im pretty sure I held my breath.. Not sure what to do.. Or if I should do anything. Not even really sure how I even felt about it all.. But then I decided to help. To share for the first time on this drive without being prompted. ..

Jennifer LOVED being called Sissy.. she was most proud of that name. She was so happy to find out you were a girl when you born Charlotte .. and she sent us you Bridgette.. another sister to add to our family..

I just happened upon this image.. A friend drew it for us while Jennifer was still here.. And we have always called Bridgette our dandelion wish come true.. This is perfect! (ps just looked at my watch and its 11:11 I think Jennifer wanted me to find this and share with Bridgey I cant wait til she wakes up!)

They both were so happy then. So I suggested we could call Charlotte sis and Bridgey sissy if you want.. Sis for our middle girl and sissy for the youngest sister. They were both happy with that..

i wonder how your brothers will react?

i wonder how Daddy will?

Im not even sure if that they will choose to adopt these monikers.. I dont know if this will continue or just be a one time conversation.. But it was a powerful one for me. I get myself all tied up in knots worried about mentioning their sister when I am thinking about her.. when I am missing her a little bit more than normal. ..

But I am learning they often are too.. They think of her on their own.. but I think it helps them to get to share with me.. And I am learning …having me share with them.. I hope as I allow myself to get better at acknowledging the one missing they also can absorb the importance of them.

That they .. all 5 of them .. are so deeply loved. That they are thought about and remembered always. That nothing .. Not even death can ever change the depths of our love for them..

sissy miss

our first

forever loved and cherished

sissy miss

thank you for being mine

and being theirs

..until there is a cure

  1. Erika M says:

    Love this so much. It is lovely they think of her and talk about her independently.

  2. Cary says:

    I am in tears. she should be here. they should have their big sister. you are all navigating uncharted waters together. your boat will float. it’s just not easy. you are doing a great job. even when you don’t know what to share it’s to protect them. and you will be surprised how strong they, and you and Tony are. big hugs to all of you.

  3. Lynn Cordia says:

    Your family is amazing, my oldest daughter, now 43, is also called Sissy (Kimberly Elaine) her older brother by a year could say her name and we started calling her Sissy. Her report card had Sissy Cordia on it until about 7th grade when a teacher told her to grow up. We still call her Sissy it makes her special. I loved your story.

  4. Crystal says:

    Have you ever noticed Bridgette kind of resembles Jennifer? Idk if that is just me. Sure the hair color and eye color are different but she definitely reminds me of Jennifer.

    I’m glad they will carry on the monikers. Their oldest sissy probably wants that.

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