“There is comfort in the strength of love; ‘Twill make a thing endurable, which else would overset the brain, or break the heart.”
Jeanette was mother’s ninth born – a soothing gift from God to replace sweet peaceful Christina, our mother’s eighth, whom He had decided to recall from us at the tender age of five. Perhaps as a bonus from the Almighty to ensure that Jeanette “would never walk alone,” mother gave birth yet again a few years later to her tenth child, also a daughter. Jeanette was a confident, energetic and creative child – traits she carried with her to her adult life. She had a lifelong close loving relationship with her younger sister. Such is not unique, but it is the best I have personally observed. When I first left home, I did not go too far; when I visited on Saturdays, it was pure joy for me to see both of my litle sisters so happy to see me, doing their best to make me comfortable, and “being protective of me” until our parents got home. Those memories of pure sibling love are precious and hurt me good today.
Jeanette grew up, came to New York, became my reliable consultant on our native traditions and details of our relatives, maintained her independence, focused on, and achieved, her educational, professional, and family goals. She did her best to maintain a good relationship with her God, family, friends, and all God’s people. By all accounts, she did the right things. But as God would have it, she did not linger to enjoy the fruits of her labor on earth. She would suffer pain till the end; and her recompense will be in Heaven. I take solace in that nothing on earth can hurt my sister, Jeanette, anymore.