Saturday, April 17, 2010
a small white hand
My first memory is of a small white hand being thrust under the green lake water in my direction.We were in Winsted,Connecticut on a dock at my aunt's house and I am four years old.I don't know where my parents were.I had leaned over the lake too far and fallen into deep water.The person on the other end of the white hand was my sister who reached down and pulled me up.She was eight years old.
Before she died in 2008, I sent her a card with an angel on the front and thanked her for saving my life.We weren't speaking and hadn't for four years but I think she read it.I told her that she was a hero because at that young age she could have easily just run to get my parents.Instead, she acted.
When she was in the hospital ,I went to see her.My husband and niece stood outside the door in case screaming started.All she said when I entered was ,"Oh."I took her hand in mine and refused to let go until it was time to leave.It was a different hand, cold as marble,and if I had held it for a week it wouldn't have warmed.Her heart was failing.
My sister left us on December 13, the feast of Saint Lucy whose name means "light" and I think of the sunlight that shone through the green water that day in Winsted and the hand that was the only one around to save me.