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Amanda

Two professional women: both married with kids and both juggling clients, reports, potty training, packed lunches, chores, dogs, cats, errands, husbands and …”what was that you said? SEX?”
That three-letter word that once was so frequent, so liberating, so yummy has been sidelined in a sea of life, work and snot.
It is time.
Time to put sex back on a pedestal by injecting some extra spice into our relationships.

Amanda

I’ve been absent from Mission: Do It of late. There are several good reasons, but as much as I try to blame a myriad of things, the truth is I’ve not had the heart lately.

Mission: Do It was born for me following a devastating personal loss last November. Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary.

The loss was my older sister, Amanda. The words below are my oldest brother’s (check him out at www.gravityandthedog.com), written a year ago.

My sister Amanda carried it.

I remember when she was born. My dad hung a huge banner between the trees that lined our street. Enormous hand-painted letters spanning the street announcing her arrival. She was a wonder to me from the moment I saw her. She was different from us. Looked different. Had a different fire.

I had begged my parents to name her Samantha, the name of a snake in my kindergarten reader. They tried to convince me that Amanda rhymed with Samantha. It still doesn’t.

I remember her sweaty, round, red face chugging the bases under the Texas sun. She could swat a softball with such savagery as to belie her amazingly gentle nature.

She was the fourth of six siblings. Three boys. Three girls. All intense, touched in their own way.

Amanda’s fire was electric.

I remember when she shaved her head, when she flashed her entire high school during an assembly, when she…

I remember a lot about Amanda.

I remember the night I realized it was my crumpled car balled-up among the dozen or so emergency vehicles I’d driven past on my way home. My car that she had been driving. Only as I drove by the scene, she was flying over me in the helicopter.

That night my whole family gathered around her. She was broken, bloody, and bruised. Only the machines kept her with us. We ignored the nurses trying to keep us out of the way. We whispered stuff in her ear like – “You’ve been abducted by aliens,” and “don’t go to the light. Run away from the light.” It was some funny stuff.

I remember thinking things would never be the same, and they weren’t. They were more beautiful and frightening than I could have ever imagined.

They still are.

I remember how she held my son.

Amanda made me want to be a better person. If knew her, if you knew of her, even a sliver of her story, you wanted to be better too. Of this I have absolutely no doubt.

Amanda’s trials brought out astounding feats of generosity and selflessness. She marveled at this, and endured it. Humble to a fault and fiercely independent. Not being able to do for herself was the second hardest thing in her life.

Not being able to do for others killed her.

I believe it is why she lasted so long and why she chose to die alone.

I will spend tonight remembering.

It has been a terribly wonderful day.

Much more beautiful words than these will run through my head.

My sister Amanda carried it. She carried it with genuine and brilliantly beautiful stumbling grace.

Amanda earned the right to lay it down.

And I will carry that with gratitude and pride for the rest of my life.

My little sister.

Amanda
January 14, 1975 – November 16, 2011

Shine on Manda. Shine on.

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