Friday, November 27, 2009

Letter to Lura

Thanksgiving, November 2009, I am missing you somewhere in my chest, and my guts- almost as if you were my child, instead of my sister, the way the hourglass of my torso reminds me of your absence. Before dinner I wandered Mom's house, and came across a picture of you. Maybe you were 19. You were laughing, one incredibly elegant and long fingered hand held to your chest, the other spread out like a cream colored bird. Your enormous blue eyes like stars. Kneeling down, seeing that picture in the dim lit hallway, it was a blow to my body. I cannot touch you, or talk to you, or hear your voice, or notice the details of your sweet face and figure, the imperfections in your speech that I adore, the flashing smirk of your eyebrows and lips. Lola reminds me so much of you. She is long legged like a colt, enormous blue eyes, chin drawn in a sharp curve, long blonde hair, and more than this, her movements, the tilt of her jawline, these things that are bittersweet reminders of you. I cannot believe my life is being lived without you. I cannot believe that 7 years have gone by without you. It is so impossible to comprehend that truly, I don't. I don't, until I see a picture of you like this, and my rib cage was relaxed and open slightly in a position of vulnerability, and the reality of not-you makes it's way into my body, and am stunned and saddened in a way that leaves everything weak and heavy and gross.

One day, I will search for you.

You know me. You will not be surprised when I do. I will put away my life and my children will be grown and I will simply - pause - everything, and come to find you.

I love you,

your Sister
PurestGreen said...


Shaista said...

Birdwings (Rumi)

Your grief for what you've lost lifts a mirror
up to where you're bravely working.

Expecting the worst, you look, and instead,
here's the joyful face you've been wanting to see.

Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.
If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed.

Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding,
the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birdwings.

Irene ~ RE~VINTAGED said...

I am glad I dropped by to say thank you for dropping in.
These are sad but wondeful words that touched me a great deal. I also lost my father to cancer earlier this year and I miss him.
Irene x

Annje said...

Beautiful, I don't know what else to say, but wanted to say that at least.

SJ said...

What happened to your sister, Miss Maggie? How beautiful that Lola reminds you of her...that is a very special thing.

Maggie May said...

My sister left and never looked back 7 years ago. She has her own story to tell, but it is the wounds of her childhood that had her leave. I haven't heard from her since.

michelle said...

My hope for you is to find her.


nelya said...

I'm so very sorry...I can't even imagine. I hope, most sincerely, that she comes back to you sooner than later. Don't wait too long...

Maggie May said...

she asked not to be found.

that is why i wait, for now.

Ms. Moon said...

I have brothers that I know where they live and we talk sometimes but they are as lost to me as your sister is. I know this is not the same- I know they are alive and as well as can be expected. But I'm saying that when families are truly and really dysfunctional, there are people who step out of the picture, and it can make you cry, even if you can call them on the phone.
But I also know that when you find your sister, it is going to be a joyous day.

JMH said...

In harnessing and articulating emotion, you seem to do it best, exactly as a poet.

Um, well, I's tough to make a comment because it needs no comment.

Zip n Tizzy said...

I suspect, when time has passed, she will want to be found by you. Walking away from the people who've hurt us often means walking away from those who've loved us but were tightly wound through fate and circumstance. Hopefully the walking away kept her light and lovely as opposed to hardening while staying put, swallowing the pain and sadness.
If so, she'll be able to find you when the dangers have passed and you will be able to share your golden years celebrating the magnificent women you've both become, despite it all.

Maggie May said...

oh God I hope so.

mosey (kim) said...

I'm struggling to find words but I haven't any.

Vanessa said...

This is incredibly beautifully written and I'm so sorry. My cousin has done the same thing, and my aunt is distraught. He had normal relations with his parents and sister, but he dreamt of being a basketball star when he grew up. He put so much pressure on himself. So very much. He neglected his schoolwork. He was very good at basketball, almost good enough but not quite. And when he got a knee injury, he knew his dream was over. He had nothing to look for and he went. He does call once a year or so, but he hardly speaks, no-one knows where he is and he isn't coming back. I do understand the aching pain of it, because there's no closure. There's always the hope of return, wondering whether, when, praying, hoping. When someone dies it's beyond awful but a person is forced to acknowledge it. I so hope that you find Lura, or that she finds you.

Elisabeth said...

Oh, Maggie. I'm pleased you fell upon my blog. We have things in common, I can see, though I've yet to include in my blog the story of how one of my brothers left home one day when he was eighteen and I was eight.

Eventually he came back and is still well and truly in our lives but those three years in my childhood when he had disappeared have stayed with me forever.

We are bound to our siblings by some invisible tie. Even when there's conflict there's most often also love.

I have also lost two sisters who died in infancy and although I never came to know either of them they are there with me forever.

Do you know of Wordsworth's poem, We are Seven. I'll copy it here although it's long to save you looking it up.

It resonates for me with your loss, though it's worse for you because it sounds as though your sister is missing and out of reach and that in some strange way seems to me to be far worse than death.

--A Simple Child,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?

I met a little cottage Girl:
She was eight years old, she said;
Her hair was thick with many a curl
That clustered round her head.

She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad:
Her eyes were fair, and very fair;
--Her beauty made me glad.

"Sisters and brothers, little Maid,
How many may you be?"
"How many? Seven in all," she said
And wondering looked at me.

"And where are they? I pray you tell."
She answered, "Seven are we;
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.

"Two of us in the church-yard lie,
My sister and my brother;
And, in the church-yard cottage, I
Dwell near them with my mother."

"You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven!--I pray you tell,
Sweet Maid, how this may be."

Then did the little Maid reply,
"Seven boys and girls are we;
Two of us in the church-yard lie,
Beneath the church-yard tree."

"You run above, my little Maid,
Your limbs they are alive;
If two are in the church-yard laid,
Then ye are only five."

"Their graves are green, they may be seen,"
The little Maid replied,
"Twelve steps or more from my mother's door,
And they are side by side.

"My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem;
And there upon the ground I sit,
And sing a song to them.

"And often after sun-set, Sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.

"The first that died was sister Jane;
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain;
And then she went away.

"So in the church-yard she was laid;
And, when the grass was dry,
Together round her grave we played,
My brother John and I.

"And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide,
My brother John was forced to go,
And he lies by her side."

"How many are you, then," said I,
"If they two are in heaven?"
Quick was the little Maid's reply,
"O Master! we are seven."

"But they are dead; those two are dead!
Their spirits are in heaven!"
'Twas throwing words away; for still
The little Maid would have her will,
And said, "Nay, we are seven!"

Mystic Thistle said...

I can't imagine losing my sister. All I can offer is an imaginary hug and kiss. xo.

Anonymous said...

someday she will search for you.
oh, maggie, i am crying!!!!
love tons of love


Beth said...

Such a loss...such an tragic absence in your life. May your search fill this void one day.

Unknown said...

I too, don't know the words,
but I feel some of which you breathed out.
How terribly sad....
and it is always just there under everything else.

strange to "delurk" on such a poignant post, sorry,

Bex said...

My three sisters are home for Thanksgiving, and when they are here I am my happiest. I cannot imagine living without them; I am so sorry. My fiance is here, part of everything, but when we are all together I know he feels the loss of his older sister, who died twelve years ago, with acute pain. I hope that you find her, or even better, that she comes and finds you, and there can be healing for your family.

Justin Evans said...

My great-grandmother's name was/is Lura. Everyone used to ask her if it was a typo or misspelling when they saw it.

krista said...

i know your sister has her reasons, but i hope you are able to reach some sort of connection with her. just the two of you.
some communication, some sort of consolation, some closure.
i have a brother who does the same thing. disappears. it's sad because i have finally just accepted it.

Angie Muresan said...

I am so sorry. I hope you find her, or that she is ready and comes to find you. I can't imagine what you must be going through. My sisters are my closest friends. I can't imagine ever losing one of them.

Amy said...

This is beautiful and crushing and visceral.

Nancy C said...

The metaphor with the rib cage is absolutely perfect. What a hard situation.

Mwa said...

I hope you and your sister can find each other. Did you ever read what I wrote about my sister? We found each other when we were around twenty, and now we are each other's strongest support. I hope you and your sister can do the same, and that this happens sooner rather than later, because only a sister can reach those earliest and most painful parts and try to heal them.

nicole said...

your words are like a splash of cold water to the face, it snaps you out of whatever space your in and forces you to be in the moment, however painful or happy that moment might be. i love it.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I love you, Maggie. I just do.


Phoenix said...

Sometimes people just need to leave... but I'm hoping your sister knows how much she is loved by you and that one day, it will be okay for her to come home.

Hugs to you, Maggie May.

Annie said...

I hope you find her, Maggie, when the time is right. Or, she may find you. I have a brother who disappeared for years when I was a teenager.

belinda graham said...

how heartbreaking to read and yet written so beautifully. i can't begin to understand the pain that must constantly be with you; but i can send an invisible wish to you that you find what you're looking for soon enough... bx

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