I lost my older sister yesterday. She was 58 years old. She'd battled brain cancer for years. For a while, she'd been winning. Yesterday, she didn't.
Yesterday, I received a call from the hospital near the nursing home she'd been living in for the past 2 years. She'd been in the hospital since Sunday night. I had no idea she was in such bad condition, or I would have made the 4-hour drive sooner. I'd been told she had a urinary infection. What she really had were massive blood clots in her heart and lungs. No one at the hospital told me that until it was too late.
My husband and I rushed up there right after the doctor called. He didn't hold out much hope that we'd make it. We didn't. We were 1/3 of the way there when the doctor called us to let us know that she'd suffered a fatal heart attack.
My sister was 9 years older than me, never married, never had children. For the majority of her life, she'd raised Rottweilers and was the founder of Ebonstern Kennels. She loved those dogs more than anything else in her life and dedicated her entire life to them. Ebonstern had a reputation of raising high quality dogs. My sister was very picky about who bought one of her dogs. I used to say that it was easier to adopt a child than to pass her stringent "vetting" of prospective parents for her beloved puppies. She was a responsible dog breeder and had an extensive contract she required that new owners sign. Only show quality dogs could be bred if they were AKC champions. Her pet quality dogs were to be fixed.
One of her "babies" still lives with us. He is partially blind and deaf but seems happy and healthy for a 16-year-old Rottweiler.
So what does this have to do with writing and books? Nothing on the surface, but my sister instilled in me a love of books from the day I was born. She was an avid reader. What a shame that she couldn't read in the last few years of her life. That is her legacy. That, and her beloved Ebonstern rottweilers.
May she finally rest in peace and live happily in heaven with her canine children once again.