“Do you have any regrets?” I asked.

“My biggest regret,” Mom said and stopped to think for a minute. “I don’t really have any regret. I get frustrated. I got frustrated a lot more when she was younger than I do now because I was also trying to deal with you and your sister. You know what I usually tell people when they ask me that, or say ‘I couldn’t do that’? I say, ‘Oh yes you could. Yes you could. You were never faced with it.’ I’d be willing to bet most of the people I’ve talked to would have done the same thing.”

Dad said, “All I know is that very early on we were both quite young and had no idea what was down the line. We made a decision. She’s the way God gave her to us, and we agreed to take on that responsibility. There was no pressure from anybody else to do it or not do it. We chose to do it.” After a moment he added, “She’s been a major pleasure to me on a one-to-one basis.”

“And she has been a major pleasure to a lot of other people, some of whom do not even know her,” Mom said. “I think it’s because she just smiles. She has some kind of charisma there that doesn’t have to be spoken. She’ll look up at people and just smile. And they’ll melt right there. They don’t remember our names, but they’ll remember her name.

“You can take her to the store; you can take her anywhere, and the way she’s sitting back, she can see people’s faces good. And she’ll just look up and smile, and you’ve got everybody in the place smiling at her. But I think any ordinary person could do that too, I just don’t think we do.”

Dancing in Heaven — a sister's memoirDancing in Heaven is now available at: (Print and Kindle)

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