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Yahrzeit

Yesterday was my youngest sister’s yahrzeit –  the anniversary of her death. I have two crappy days each year – April 1, Tina’s  birthday and June 24, the day she died. Losing a sibling is hard. My mother made it harder. She threatened my other sister and brother with being cut out of the will if either of them told me Tina was sick or that she died. My revenge is that my mother spent the last years of her life in a nursing home so there was nothing left to inherit. My brother and sister sold their humanity for nothing. Pretty fitting.

Art can make anything better. And so I made art. I’m pushing myself to have an Art on the Back Patio Sale, so I’m making lots of art.

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I think we were in Hawaii when we came across a lady who made beaded straps that wound around a bra strap thereby making bra straps joined by spaghetti straps look pretty. You’d think something like that would be simple to make. The making is simple, the engineering isn’t. I used lobster claw clasps with the idea that they could  be snapped around a bra strap. Then I realized not all bra straps are made equal. Okay….. rethink this. How about having seed beads at the ends so the claw can go around the beads.

How long to make these…… It took three tries to get it right. How to make it sparkly without using crystals with sharp edges. It’s bad enough to have a bra strap cutting into your shoulder. Having both a bra strap and crystals cutting into your shoulder would be worse. I’m not sure I have this figured out yet. I’ll have to see how well they sell before making a drawer full of them.

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I have magpie tendencies and I love sparkly things. I also have a collection of Swarovski crystals that need to be put into jewelry. Like the earrings above.

Or the earrings below.

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I still felt sad, depressed, angry. Last night at services, kaddish was said for those we loved who died at this time in years past, including my sister. When I feel sad or depressed, I dress in a way to help my mood. I chose my outfit for services last night with depression in mind. I wore a skirt and blouse made from a positive and negative print. The skirt has huge black leaves on a white background. The blouse has huge white leaves on a black background. I chose the black and white kippah – the one with the fluffy black feather. I made earrings specially for services. I put purple mousse in my hair. Tina was a hairdresser and a friend had suggested, several years back, that I could celebrate Tina’s life on the yahrzeit.

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The beads at the bottom are dice with an aurora borealis finish.

The skirt, blouse, kippah, purple hair and earrings didn’t help. I was still depressed. I remember the day Tina was born. I was nine, the oldest, and I wouldn’t be 10 for another five months. It was a Sunday and we were supposed to go to church. My mother and her husband sat on the sofa and my mother looked so depressed. Not in pain but depressed. One of the neighbors took us kids, Tina was the youngest, to church. When we came home, we were told we had a sister. My brother burst into tears saying he had been promised a brother.

When Tina had her first period, she didn’t think it was necessary to mention it to anyone. She knew there were feminine supplies in the bathroom (with four women in the house, there are probably still left over feminine supplies in that bathroom). Tina picked out a supply, pinned it in her pants and went on with life. That’s when I knew I’d never have to worry about her.

Long before it became an Olympic sport, when it was called Hot Dogging, my sister went skiing with her friends. Tina could water ski, but she had never been skiing on snow. She tore down that hill attacking every bump, lump and flat spot. By the end of the day, it was sleeting. The last run, Tina came down the hill with her eyes closed. Her friends asked her where she learned to Hot Dog. That’s when she told them she didn’t know how to ski.

I have a beginning to Tina’s life. I have a middle of her life. I don’t have an end. A bookend is missing and the books – her life – tumble onto the shelf never ever to be properly arranged.

Tina passed away 19 years ago. I’m still waiting for the hurt to end. Art doesn’t stop the hurt. Special art doesn’t stop the hurt.

On the anniversary of a loved one’s death, we say Kaddish – the Mourner’s Prayer. Kaddish, in Hebrew, transliteration and English is here: http://www.jewfaq.org/kaddishref.htm

The prayer ends:

Oseh shalom bim’romav hu ya’aseh shalom, aleinu v’al kol Yis’ra’eil v’im’ru, Amein.

He who makes peace in His heights, may He make peace upon us and upon all Israel. Now say: Amen.

Shalom.

 

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Author:

I retired from the Public Defender Dept. November 12, 2015 after 21+ years as a criminal defense attorney. Now, I'm a full time multi-media artist and writer starting on a new adventure. As an artist, I create with beads, fabric, fiber, and ceramic clay. Sometimes separately; sometimes in assorted combinations. You can find my on-line store at: www.debthumanart.com.