I loved being an older sister to my younger sister Jane. For the first fourteen years of my life we shared a room. I loved the closeness, the talks, the sisterly fights, the unspoken words and knowing we shared a history. When we moved to a bigger home, each with our own bedroom, I missed Jane.
On November 7, 1981 that changed, I changed. After forty one years a hole remains in my heart, but not my love for my cherished sister.
Jane and I were polar opposites. When she was younger she tagged along with me, I babysat for her, protected her and in her own way she looked up to me. One of the biggest thrills was the summer she came with me to overnight camp. For the first time I got to ride the sisters bus. I had a little sister at camp. She drove me nuts coming to my bunk every day and crying about not wanting to take horseback riding. We resolved the issue but secretly I missed her visits and felt important watching out for my little sister.
Banished to the kitchen for her sweet 16, not cool enough for her friends, I took it in stride and knew Jane would outgrow the behavior. Sadly we never had a chance to watch Jane grow up. What I do know is the unconditional love based on the cards and letters I still have and cherish and read and reread. Jane told me she was proud of me when I landed my job at Bloomingdale’s out of college.
In looking at the pictures, I was astounded to see the resemblance between Jane and I. She is standing in the living room in a long navy dress, hand on the piano. It could be a dead ringer for a picture of me in college where I stand in a long navy dress. Jane had a dimple on her right cheek, but side by side no mistaken we are sisters. It warms my heart to look at this picture.
I will never know who Jane would be today and dream of her often. I had the gift of her for twenty two years. A special sister I love then, today, and forever.
Judy Lipson, is the Founder of Celebration of Sisters, an ice skating fundraiser established in 2011 to commemorate the memories of her beloved sisters to benefit Massachusetts General Hospital. Judy has published articles for The Open to Hope Foundation and The Centering Organization. Massachusetts General Hospital and SKATING Magazine featured numerous pieces on Judy’s philanthropic work. Judy appeared as a guest on The Open To Hope and The Morning Glory Podcasts. Her passion for figure skating secured the recipient of U.S. Figure Skating Association 2020 Get Up Award. Judy’s memoir, Celebration of Sisters: It Is Never Too Late To Grieve, released December 2021 by WriteLife Publishing.