My oldest sister, Marlene whom we fondly called Snookie, would have celebrated her seventy-first birthday today. I love this old high school picture of her. This is how I remember her the best before life took its toll on her.
She made me laugh and she loved road trips. She was one of the few people I totally trusted in a car. She taught me how to drive but I was not that good a student. She had a lot of courage just taking me on since I stink at driving.
Snookie made the best peanut butter fudge I've ever tasted and she played canasta with me and the parents as my partner. We cheated. We had this whole hand signal thing going on but we rarely won. My parents were like the champs at canasta.
Snookie had five kids and they were more like my siblings than nieces and nephew. We hung out together. I went with her and her five kids to my first rock concert--the Dave Clark Five. You probably don't remember them but it was quite a scream fest and I loved it. My first husband who was my best friend then, went with us.
My big sister died on February 13, the same day my dog Kate died. Years of smoking and not taking very good care of herself took her away. She took a part of my history with her especially my restless, reckless days, that I can never have back again. There is one less person for me to reminisce with about the "old days."
So, here's to you Snookie, wherever you are in the universe. I hope you're having fun, maybe getting in another game of canasta with the parents.
I will always love you.