Ten Years After…


pics from Holly Donaldson

Ten years ago today, my sister buried you. On her birthday. You, the father of her children, one of her oldest friends, her former husband. Unfortunately, the pain of your passing continues to this day, and exacerbates in October. The loss, the void still aches even a decade later. And every October since 2007, the pain throbs from one end of the month on the anniversary of your birth to the other end on the anniversary of your death. There has been no respite for ten Octobers. Her birthday has now become a sacred day, the day she closed the casket and said her last goodbye.

Funny, though, the pain does diminish when we play with your granddaughter, Audrey, but then there’s that sharp, sudden pang when we realize you won’t meet her this side of heaven. You won’t chase after her, won’t bathe in her smiles or bask in her joy. I’m sure you’re chuckling up there, though, over her antics, laughing it up with Larry and your dad. Your dad would just melt over Audrey. Sweet Louie!

You and Linda were cut from the same cloth. Country music, classic cars, kids..so much so, your marriage didn’t last, but your friendship did. After you guys split, and both got your bearings, a mutual and committed effort was made to finish raising your girls.  And the girls grew up to be fine, beautiful women; women, Kelvin, you’d be so proud of, women who  overcame their own struggles, defeated Goliaths, and became strong. Even after your passing, they found some Sisson reservoir of strength to bear up under the unbearable. The same strength Larry’s boys found, and shared, no doubt.

Linda met you when she was 15. You guys were kids. You were there in all her early memories into adulthood, and her most cherished memories of childbirth and childrearing. The van, the property, the partying, the apartment, the girls. All the memories from her twenties, you were there. You were there when her smile was its brightest. You were there when Linda and Mike rebuilt the Corvette. You were there with Jennifer & Debbie pushing them in the cart at Safeway, piling up the yummies for your weekend with them, you were there at their graduations, you were there in the countless ordinary moments of uneventful days. And, now, you are not here.

Life has gone on as it does. And Linda and the girls have kept you alive these past ten years. The pictures, the stories, the bikes all sadly remind us you are not here now, all the memories, the good, the bad and the ugly nourish Linda and the girls to keep your life alive. I see your life in Jennifer’s eyes, Debbie’s smile, Audrey’s energy and Linda’s determination to keep you present in the present. You may not be here anymore, but you are here in their hearts EVERYDAY, and, sometimes, like the lone hawk quietly watching Debbie’s wedding, we know you are near. We see you and remember, and look forward to seeing you again.

As for me, sometimes I think I see you haunting the streets of Pacifica or flying down Hwy. 1 on a chopper….and, always, I think of you and Larry when Willie and Waylon sing “Let’s go to Luckenbach, Texas, with Waylon and Willie and the boys..”

Rest in peace, brother, with your brother and father. Fare thee well….




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