Tuesday, April 14, 2009

So Long Ago, Yet Seems Like Yesterday

“Like you were saying you’re not sure exactly what you want to do in life right now… I know whatever you choose, you’ll be great at it… Hey babe I love you soooo much you couldn’t imagine… you’ve got a lot of talent, you just need to realize it… Start realizing you’re a unique individual and you’ve got a hidden quality better than anyone else… The most important thing is I Love you lots, and remember! I’ll always be here for you!!”

My cousin, Ann Renee wrote these words to me on March 6, 1987. Words I never really took the time to hear and act upon. She was wise for just being shy of 19-years old and it saddens me that Ann didn’t get a chance to do what she wanted to do.

Today, Ann Renee would turn 41-years old, born on Easter Sunday, but her life was cut short on May 27, 1987. Ann died of Meningococcal Meningitis 6 weeks and one day after her 19th birthday. I’ve wondered how Ann’s life would have unfolded. She had unique looks with olive skin, dark brown hair, light green eyes and loved by many. In May, it will be 22-years since she died, but those years of separation haven’t made me forget. I still talk about Ann Renee remembering the things we did along with her cackle. At the back of the bus, we sang David Cassidy songs on the way home from pre-school and through our grammar school years family referred to us as “the pretenders.” Our imaginations ran wild with so many make believe worlds.

Although we’ve lived apart longer than together, I will always remember your smile, laugh and I think about you often, sometimes bringing me to tears.

Happy Birthday, Ann Renee, my cousin, my friend, and my guardian angel. I miss you with all my heart, but I know you’re in good hands. Celebrate well!

To learn more about
Meningococcal Meningitis, click on the World Health Organization.


  1. What a moving tribute to your cousin. It sounds like you were very close. Yet it's always so sad to know of a young life ended this way. I'm glad that she, on some level, in some essence, is with you still.

  2. Thanks so much, Joanne. Sometimes we hold onto faith and/or memories to get us through. I appreciate you commenting.

  3. Lovely post, Bea. And lovely memories.

  4. wonderful tribute, tot.

  5. Your thoughts remind me of my own when it comes to those I have lost. The fond memories that can pop up after I see or listen to something start the replay of some of things they said or did. It’s amazing just like part of them is still with me. One example is during uncertain times I often recall a glimpse of John and him saying to me “hold your tickets” which meant to me all is not lost yet.

  6. Kimmi, thank you.

    Anonymous, I appreciate your comment.

    Veejay, yes several things trigger memories and sometimes we find ourselves back in the day doing it over again. I like what John said to you and what he meant.