As O.G. Mandino says in scroll 2, “Yet I will welcome obstacles for they are my challenge. Yet I will endure sadness for it opens my soul”.
This past Thursday, I received a call from my sister-in-law, Sandy, and my step-brother, Marc, and they shared with me that our sister, Debra, had died. I was speechless and thought that maybe I misinterpreted their words, but sadly I hadn’t. Debra had just had her birthday, a month earlier and had turned 57 years old. I couldn’t believe her life had ended; she was too young, and after all I thought she would probably live for ever or out live me.
Her life began as an identical twin and she was the oldest because she was first born. Sadly, she was born with cerebral palsy and weighed a little over 4 pounds. Her sister, Diane, out weighted her by one pound.
Debra was always full of spunk, determination, and persistence. When Diane learned how to ride a bike, nothing doing but Debra had to learn. No matter how many times she fell, she got back up and tried again until finally after a long period of practice she got it. The same thing happened when Diane took up skating. Debra had to try this out too. She had so many bruises on her poor little legs, but it never stopped her from trying again & again. After many months of practicing she became successful and had fun skating in the patio area and then later out in the street since she lived on a cul-de-sac with hardly any traffic.
As Debra got older she had always wanted to work at Sea World and of course would not take “no” for an answer. She applied for many types of jobs at Sea World until finally she got an interview and got her dream job. She had to wake up earlier than normal in order for her to catch the trolley and get to Sea World. She could travel anywhere either by bus or trolley and seemed to have no fear of anything or anyone. Debra worked at other jobs, such as a bakery shop where she learned how to make delicious cookies, cupcakes, and breakfast muffins. She was very clever and never shared the recipes. She also worked for Long’s Drug store for over 5 years. She won a special reward for her faithfulness and diligence. She also was in the newspaper for public recognition of what she had done. She was so thrilled over this, as she finally did something that Diane hadn’t done.
She lived most of the time by herself in a couple of apartments with her stuffed animals of Snoopy, which became her family. She loved Snoopy and would light up when anyone gave her a Snoopy or something with Snoopy on it. She went to Grossmont College because Diane had graduated from college and so she thought she would go too, but she didn’t quite understand that you had to take a set number of courses in various subjects in order to get a degree and not just take PE classes.
She loved walking or taking a bus to Denny’s. This was the highlight of her day and she would order a tall glass of tea along with something to eat, sit, and talk with the waitresses.
She was on a bowling team and had her own bowling ball. She always seemed to make strikes and it seemed to tickle her soul. She could also play pool, which was amazing to see her shoot the balls and get them in the holes. She seemed to have so much fun.
She loved family gatherings like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and birthday celebrations. All of these times were special to her as she got to visit with family.
One of her favorite places to travel to was Disneyland. She would catch a bus and off she went. She would go on rides, eat, walk around, enjoy the musical parade, and the great fireworks.
She was always friendly and loved to give everyone a big bear hug.
Debra was a special person, a unique sister and someone who I will truly miss. Her memories will live on forever within my heart.