A tribute to my sister, Glenda who left us in 2010

Glenda all snazzy, hair grown back to shoulder length

On  30 July 2010, my dearest sister, departed from us, expected at some point, yet unexpected when the day finally hit us. The more the cancer anchored itself, the more Glenda's mental and spiritual spirit ballooned. I dunno how she did it and even the medical staff were in awe of her power.

Glenda posing with the dummy gift Mother Christmas (Aka me) gave her
After battling with an aggressive cancer for 4 years, Glenda, the supreme fighter, finally succumbed.  Even on the day we finally took her to hospital because she took a bad turn, Glenda showed her superhuman strength.  She could not even walk but she remained calm and dignified as we waited at Constantiaberg reception.  A past student of mine was attending to us.  He told us we could take Glenda up to the ward while he waited for authorisation from the Medical Aid. He could see the pain wracking her face.  But no, my strong-willed, stubborn sis insisted that we wait for the authorisation.  I was so relieved when Glenda was finally made comfortable in her hospital bed.  That was on Wednesday early afternoon. By Friday early hours of the morning, our brave darling left us to continue her spiritual existence.

Glenda in white shirt on  New Year's eve 
Life has not been the same ever since Glenda was no more. I only came to realise after her passing, what a key role she played in the lives of the siblings.  Glenda was no easy person to live with, that is what the family and workmates will tell you. She was direct, stubborn and highly principled - admirable values but those very  qualities often got her to be feared or misunderstood.  Then she was moody as well and God forbid that you try to disturb her peace when she was in one of those foul moods!

But Glenda held us together, I realise now more than ever.  She knew all our phone numbers by heart and she remembered all the birthdays. She was always the first to arrive at your home when someone celebrated a birthday and she bought the most expensive gifts.  Many an item I have was either bought by her 'because she could just see me in 'that shirt, pants or top' to look 'presentable.'

Over the 4 years, Glenda went through all the cycles of anger, bitterness and hysteria but she never gave up the fight. She was the epitome of courage and she taught me how to cope with difficulties, pain and trauma. I still carry a poem she had faxed to me in 2008 one day when I was hitting a wobble.  I faithfully replant the original copy of this poem into my diary - a practice I have done since the day I received it. I need it there - it is my source of inspiration, of unwavering belief of one sis in another.

Clowning time with Desiree and me.
I will always treasure the life we shared, the memories I have and the lessons I have learnt from her, even though it took a long time for me to realise that she was the nucleus of the siblings.

I know we will see each other again and I know there are at least three of them watching daily over us...

Thanks for being with us Sis, and thanks for all the memories and the Mini you - ol Nazarro...


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