“If you have a sister and she dies, do you stop saying you have one? Or are you always a sister, even when the other half of the equation is gone?”– Jodi Picoult
This is a sad day, each year, as it passes. And really, even the two weeks leading up to it. Don't get me wrong, its gotten easier each year to remember the day, with less of the pain, but it will always be remembered with sadness and a longing for her to still be here with us.
Dalynn was a beautiful lady, inside and out. She was witty, you know, in that way of snappy comebacks and joking that only some people have. She was crafty and creative, always making something, reusing items to create other masterpieces. A talented cook. She dreamed of going to culinary school and she would have done so well! She had a way with children that I admired so much. Patience and calmness that I wish I had and she seemed to hardly tire when they were clammoring for her attention.
Funny thing was she didn't believe herself talented or worthy or charming. Dalynn struggled with her self image daily and confessed that she didn't feel good in her own skin, although, as she had gotten older, she'd accepted more of herself than when she was younger. She was beautiful and she never really saw it.
When she was born, she had carrot red hair, that quickly became the lightest shade of blond, but like all of us, her hair darkened, her's into a warm reddish brown with gold highlights as she got older. She had beautiful freckles and alabaster skin. Traits of our father's Irish heritage. And large, blue eyes, like our mother. Three of her four children inherited her lovely features and each time we get a glimpse of them, we're reminded of her.
Dalynn was the middle daughter and she often acted as the glue that held us together. I miss being able to talk with her (which I did practically every day). I miss hearing her voice, her laugh and her children (that's another dirty, messed up story, left for another time perhaps).
Leukemia, specifically acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), swiped her from our lives. The doctors said it was very rare to have childhood leukemia at her age. That it usually strikes a child or teen, but not usually an adult. But, as I think back on her history, there were odd things in her medical history. For instance, when she got mono, instead of having swollen lymph glands, running a fever or feeling excessively sleepy, she manifested hives. In fact, she got hives quite a few times for no explainable reason. She never could handle heat and during the summers, she often was on the verge of heatstroke while out playing, which resulted in excessive bloody noses, flushed cheeks and weakness. After her third pregnancy, she developed an all-over body rash. She tried everything she could think of to get rid of it, thinking it was perhaps the soap she was washing with or the laundry soap or the dryer sheets or something she was eating. The rash disappated on its own after a few months with no explanation, never served by her changes or the doctors that examined her.
The different issues she had make me wonder… is it possible she had a somewhat dormant form of leukemia all her life and it was only when she was pregnant with her fourth child, that her body resigned its fight? We'll never know, I suppose, but it does make a person scratch their head and go… hmmmm…
So… this day of days, I leave you with this… Dalynn was a bright, shining star, snuffed out too soon. She is missed greatly. And she will always be remembered. I share a video tribute my husband put together for her Celebration of Life after her passing. May you see a glimpse of the sparkling person she was.