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Article ID: 3313
Age Group: Adult
Posted: February 26th. 2001
My beautiful sister, Aeron, passed from this world on February 21st just after sunset. She was 47. In this life she had red hair and green eyes. I am blue eyed with dark hair. She was a creature of Air and Fire. I am Earth and Water. Joined together we made a powerful team. She is gone now and she is with me always. Those of you who have lost a sibling will understand.
She was the elder by 5 years and I adored her because she could run faster, thrown a ball harder and swear better than any other kid in our neighborhood. She was a natural athlete and very graceful. I am not. She was also a wonderful writer and she loved books and music all her life. Her house was always full of dogs and cats and she could ride a horse like a song. She could cook, too, and lay brick and fix her own car and create wonderful gardens. She started and ran her own business. She was independent, self taught, strong-minded and very, very funny.
Like many daughters of beautiful women, she always compared herself to our mother and felt herself lacking. But she was far more beautiful then she ever realized. Her fingers were long and slender and her hands were elegant and expressive. She was tall and had a splendid figure. Her best features were her wonderful sea green eyes and her copper colored hair. Men fell in love with her at first sight and the weak ones soon fled in terror for she also had a temper to match that hair and a sharp wit to go with it. She finally found her true mate in her husband, Paul. Paul is gentle as only large, powerful men can be. His quiet strength matched her fire and his deep love for her lasted 20 years. It goes on still.
Aeron was a survivor. She survived growing up in our violent, alcoholic, mess of a family and the equally dysfunctional religion they believed in. She survived her own drug and alcohol addictions and a bad, first marriage. She survived leaving home at a young age and she made a successful place for herself in this world without a college education. She began going to Twelve Step meetings in her 30's and she learned there to forgive the pain and abandonment of her childhood and to understand and care for herself. When she did that, she found freedom and a certain measure of peace. Slowly and surely she began to trust people again and to learn what it meant to have unconditional love.
When she was 44, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She fought it for two and a half years but was finally told that the cancer had spread to her liver and then her bones. During that time, she had made friends with a wonderful Pagan woman and found a new spiritual path. It was this friend who took her into her home, who got her into a special cancer treatment center in Arkansas and who taught her the difficult lesson of how to die.
She did not die alone. She was always surrounded by friends and loved ones. When she went into the hospital for the last time she had hundreds of notes and cards from people all over the country in her room. The walls were covered with pictures of her beloved dogs and the dogs of her friends. In almost every state of the union a friend had lit a candle or said a prayer. The Chief of a Zuni tribe in her home state of Nevada was an old friend of her husband's. He and his people did a three-day healing ritual just for her. My own Circle did one too, as did many others. When her husband's neighbors asked why he had a candle lit in his window every night he told them that it was for her. When he came home from work that next night, he found that every window of every home for blocks around had a candle burning in their front windows.
More emails came in from England, Scotland, South Africa and Australia to tell her that friends met on-line, in hiking clubs, at dog shows and on camping trips were all thinking about her. She had spent years giving back to the community as a volunteer for groups that worked to preserve open space, protect desert lands or aid domestic animals in need and now all the love that she had given out was coming back three times three.
The last week of her life was spent laughing and talking with her friends, petting the dogs they had sneaked past the doctors (with the nurse's help, of course) and saying goodbye. Her last three days were quiet and without pain. She did not die alone as she had always feared. Quite the opposite; she died beloved and secure. The night she passed on, some of us held a small ritual afterwards to support her fiery Spirit on its journey. At the end, a wild wind came up and with it a thunderstorm and the lightening she loved. Her husband turned to me and said, "Boy, is she having a great time out there."
Some people recover but they never heal. Some people heal but they never recover. Aeron got the time to heal and this has been a great blessing for her, for her husband and for those of us who love her.
Blessed Be to you and yours,
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