“Go ahead, try it. I hear they are loaded with protein”, my sister soothingly said to me as we crouched behind the sofa looking at the dead flies on the windowsill. She knew to focus on logic even though I was only 4 and had no idea what protein was. She made it sound as if it was definitely something I needed.
She never appealed to my sense of pride when there was convincing to do. She somehow knew that there was no point in trying that tactic with me. There was never a, “I dare you” or even any sense of coercion. She was a master at mischief and I was her willing stooge.
My sister Gale seemed to have a talent at making things sound like so much fun. Whether it was poking my other sister, Gwen, in her most ticklish spot simultaneously while sitting on each side of her in the car, or heading out on an overnight camping trip late on a rainy afternoon with the dog in tow. Together, we would ignore the sage advise of our oldest sister, Lynn, and plow ahead heedless of the consequences. I knew that every pursuit was going to be packed with excitement and daring.
I was not alone in feeling like I needed Gale. She gathered friends like a light gathers moths. She had an element about her that burned bright when you got near to it. It was mesmerizing, soothing, satisfying and fulfilling.
Gale was one of a kind. She was full of life and adventure. I like to think that I share one strong trait with her: the sense that nothing is impossible. Gale never thought small. Every project or endeavor was epic in size or complexity. But, somehow, she always gathered the resources needed to accomplish the task. The sense that something was a chore never seemed to enter the picture. Helping her seemed natural and expected.
I never projected myself as an old woman of 80, let alone an old woman with elderly siblings. But in thinking about this now, my heart breaks that she will not be there to share this time of life with me. I assumed that she would always be there with that twinkle in her eye and that easy smile, ready for the next adventure. I do realize that one of us had to go first, I only wish that it had not happened so soon.
Gale now rests with her heavenly Father. She is probably busy making friends and gathering family members. I will miss her so much and feel as though a part of me has died with her. But, I will carry on the adventures without her and do my best to make her proud.