It’s strange how my mind is working this week after losing Lorraine. I’ve been busy working, thinking, and even talking when all of a sudden my mind takes me back to a day or time with Lorraine. Times I’ve not thought of in years or times Lorraine and I talked about in one of our many phone conversations.
We’d always loved each other. When we were young we always got along. I don’t remember ever arguing with her or being mad at her. We loved playing together: house/dolls, school, paper dolls, jump rope, roller skating, jacks. We were champs at jacks!
The two best years of our childhood, we both agreed, were when we lived in Covington, Oklahoma. I think she was in 5th and 6th grades. I was in 2nd and 3rd grades. Dad was traveling as an evangelist. Mother stayed home with the four of us children. She raised roosters and rabbits so we’d have meat to eat. Lorraine and I got to pick out pretty feed bags for Mother to make dresses for us. In this picture we’re both wearing feed sack dresses. But look at the pockets and around the neck! Mother put trim on them to dress them up as much as she could!
This is Richard, Anita, Billy and Lorraine.
There was one time Lorraine did get upset with me. I guess she had a right to. A dressing table had been given to her. It was rounded and curved in at the center with a little stool for her to sit on. A pretty skirt fit around the table. The top had a thick piece of glass that fit perfectly on the top. It was really lovely for a young teenage girl. Our bedroom was small so we had bunk beds. Lorraine usually slept on top but once in a while we changed and I slept on top. So…one night when I was on top I woke up in the middle of the night and had to go to the bathroom. In my half asleep state as I climbed down I stepped on her dressing table tipping it over. The glass top broke. Oh no… She was quite upset with me. When I brought this up to her, recently during one of our late night chats she didn’t even remember it! I’ll never forget it…
One day when she was a young teenager and I was an older child, I asked Lorraine if we could play house together. She looked at me with a sad look and said, “No.” She left a few minutes later to join a friend. We never ‘played’ together again. What a sad day that was for me, I’ll never forget it. She had outgrown playing as a child and I was soon to follow.
When Lorraine was in 10th grade she went away to South Dakota to Wessington Springs High School and Junior College. Our older brother, Richard, was also attending the school. A generous friend paid Lorraine’s way. By the time I went to Wessington Springs in my junior year of high school, Lorraine was married. She and Bob lived in an apartment. I worked as a waitress in the dining room of the school to help finance my way but my parents were still struggling to pay my bill. Lorraine and Bob offered to let me eat with them second semester. So I gave up my waitress job and went to their apartment three times a day. I helped out with whatever they wanted me to do. We became very close that semester. Bob taught me how to make soft boiled egg on toast! I still make it today! Jerry and I and one of our granddaughters, Sydney, love it!
We were in each other’s weddings, of course. Lorraine was my matron of honor. Her oldest daughter, Christine, was my precious little flower girl. My dad had to bribe Christine with an ice cream cone to get her to walk down the aisle! Lorraine and I often wondered if Dad ever got her that ice cream cone!
Lorraine and Bob and their four beautiful daughters went to Germany to live for nine months so Bob could work on his master’s degree. Their family came to Michigan on the way and stayed with us for a week before they left and for a week when they returned! Those were precious times for Lorraine and me.
We went to Oregon to visit them twice when our kids were all still in school. But as far as every day chatting…no. We missed years of each other’s lives. Cell phones weren’t even thought of. Computers came years later. Even to call and talk long distance on the phone was almost unheard of. We always tried to limit our calls to three minutes! We were both so busy raising our families and trying to get ahead that we seldom took time to write a letter. For a few years a family letter was circulated among the entire family. It was good but after a few years it too died away. So there were years that were wasted as far as corresponding with each other and I regret that now.
After Lorraine retired she moved to Washington to be near our parents. Whenever I went to visit them I, also, had very special times with Lorraine and lots of time with the four of us together.
Our long phone conversations to each other in the last several years, I’ve already written about so I won’t repeat it. But…how do I say good-bye to my precious sister? Oh, we didn’t always agree on issues in our adult years but we respected each other. We didn’t argue. We loved each other. Once again I ask…why did you leave me so soon, Lorraine?