My Final Words to my Sister


My Sister Peggy

I previously blogged about my Sister who was almost 10 years older than me. You can read those blogs here and here.

There were four of us in the family, my two brothers Norman, the oldest and Peter and then my Sister Peggy as she was known. (Her real name was Barbara Eileen and I have no idea where Peggy came from).They were all grouped closely together and then there was me, who arrived 10 years after them. Later on in life, I learned there was a lot of chatter about my Mum having an affair with a guy named Basil from Punnetts Town and the gossip goes that he was my real Father.

Anyway, the point is that I really didn’t know any of them very well until much later in life when we were all adults (sort of adult in my case). Back then, there was a war going on and all three of them enlisted. When they returned, they were all grown up and I was still just a kid and I never got to know them at all. Peter died of the after effects of rheumatic fever that he had contracted during his time in service and which left him with a very weak heart. That left Norman and Peggy who were busy getting on with their own lives. My Mother had met a GI and left us to come to the USA and my Father remarried which was followed by my stint at living with my Step Mother, whom I disliked intensely. I moved again to live first with my Aunt Elsie in Sandy Cross until she became too sick and then moved in with Peggy and Ron and her family in Hailsham for a couple of years as I moved around in my earlier troubled life. I remember that I was often called upon to be the babysitter for their two kids Jim and Sheila, a job that I thought of as unfair to keep me from being with my friends and kicking a football (soccer) ball around.

Both Norman and his second family, having divorced his Egyptian wife that he met during the war, and my Sister and her family followed me over here to America and we all settled in at Fort Plain, New York where our Mother lived with her husband Hermie. That was the closest that we had ever been as a collective family and it only lasted a few years as I moved out to Texas following my marital break up. I barely saw them much after that and then only on the very few trips that I made back to Fort Plain. I came back for Normans funeral when he died of Alzheimer’s and for my one last visit to my Step Father, Hermie prior to his death of lung cancer. Then our Mother died at the ripe old age of 94 and after that, I didn’t see Peggy again. She was the only one of the original family left. She lost her husband Ron and then moved to Florida to live with her Daughter and their family. I kept saying I would go visit but much to my regret, I never made that trip. That was all probably 15-20 years ago and although we stayed in touch we never physically made any more contact. We kept in touch either by letter or by the occasional phone call. One day, a couple of years ago, when I called to speak with her, Gary, Sheila’s husband and with whom Peggy was living, told me to say that she wasn’t mentally doing well and was in the first stages of Alzheimer’s and was very confused. This got progressively worse and when I called a couple of times after that and I tried to talk to her she just ranted on about where she used to live in Hailsham and had no clue to whom she was speaking. That was my last verbal contact with her. A couple of months ago, Gary and Sheila moved her into a special old folks home where she was living out her life and seemingly doing very well. On Friday last, I got a call from Gary telling me that my Sister was gone. She had died in her sleep at the age of 93.

All in all not a very good day all around. The truth is that we never grew up together and I was just a teenager when I lived with them and not really knowing which end was up. Now, as an old man I lack the compassion to feel much of a loss as time and lack of contact has eroded much of the sisterly or brotherly feelings between us. All I can say is that she was my Sister and in my own distant way, I loved her. Because of the Alzheimer’s we had stopped communicating a long time ago. Such a shame but that is the way of the world.

Now, I am the only original member left of this family…

Written 3/9/2020

To My Sister.


Peg at 20

Peg at 20

My sister called the other day
just wanting to chat and pass away
the time, as Christmas is drawing near
and this is when every year
we write or call to say “Hello”
and make inquiries of each others health
and catch up on our lives so small
because apart we can tell it all.

I have not seen her for many a year
and in my thoughts she is so dear
to meet seems like an impossible task
for the distance is long and our time is short
and to travel so far will come to naught
as she in Florida now resides
with me in Texas, the distance divides.

My sister is ten years older than me
our Mum lived until she was ninety three
we are both hoping in our own way
that we too shall live to a ripe old age
I shall be eighty in just a few days
and my sister ninety at the start of May
as Mother lived as long as she
if we have her genes, maybe will we?

Heck, if we are truly blessed
and we have our Mothers genes for old age
and both of us as we do now
living our lives as best we know how
knowing that neither has a choice
in this matter we have no voice
when the Angels come looking for us
our souls to take as we turn to dust.

Alas, we cannot pick and choose
instead we live by making the best
of whatever time that we have left
her with her family warm and close
and me with my pets who I choose the most
each very happy in our own different way
living our lives from day to day.

When for us the time is up
whether it be my sister or me
we both know we have lived long lives
doing our best this world to survive
sharing ourselves that others may see
though far apart for many a year
we both hold each other so very dear.

Francis at 20

Francis at 20

My thoughts are with you Sister. Happy Holidays.