A Promise To Keep – Poem For My Sister Sandy

 A Promise To Keep
By: Linda A. Long

As you laid
I held your hand
And made
A promise
A promise
To live
A life you
Would be proud of
To live
Life through
Your eyes
To experience
The things
You would miss
I promised
To carry
Your spirit
With me
In my soul
Wrapped around
My heart
As you laid
I held your hand
And made you
A promise
A promise
To believe
In myself
To find the best
Within myself
To hold my
Head high
In defeat
As well as in
I held your hand
And promised
I would take care
Of our Mother
I promised
I would
Never forget you
As if I could
You were
A sister
A mother
A friend
As you laid
I held your hand
And promised you
I would always strive
For my best
I promised
I wouldn’t
Give up
I promised
I wouldn’t back down
I promised
I would
Be confident
In my strengths
As you always
Told me to be
I promised you
I would believe
In myself
As much as
You believed
In me
As you laid
I held your hand
And made you
A promise
A promise
I am only
Now keeping
Fourteen years later
I am finally
The person
I promised you
I would be
I am finally
Finding my best
I am living
An authentic life
Because of you
Everything I am
Is because
You loved me
My dear sweet
Because you
Believed in me
I believe in myself
As one year rolls
Into the next
My heart still
Aches for the
Of your company
The pain
Of losing you
Will never go away
I just learned to
Live with it
As you laid
I held your hand
And made you
The most important
A promise
To live life wholely
Love deeply
And believe
Still believe
In Others
In spite
Of my
Broken heart
I held your hand
And made a promise
Of love
A promise
I will keep
© 2013 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved
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This poem is dedicate to my sister, Sandy.

Sandy passed away on March 9, 1999 after a long illness. Sandy was on life support for two weeks before she died. During those two weeks I sat and talked to her hoping to see some sign that she was still with us; it came early on a rainy cold March morning three days before she died when she raised her eyebrows as I was telling her about a fire that happened behind my mother’s house the night before. I was shocked, surprised and full of hope. I was in the room alone with Sandy that morning. I asked her if she could hear me and she raised her eyebrows again. I knew she was with me. The Doctors told me to keep talking to her and tell her where she was, what happened to her and explain to her she was on a ventilator. After that I read the newspaper to her and read a short mystery story. She loved mysteries. I knew the rest of my family were on their way back the hospital so I took the opportunity to speak my peace to her and also tell her it was ok for her to let go. If she couldn’t do it anymore, it was ok to let go. She was suffering for too long. I refused to push her to hold on out of my own selfishness and fear of loss. I held her hand and set her free. I held her hand and thanked her for being a wonderful sister. And, I made her a promise that I would live the best life possible and make her proud. It was then I broke into tears and my Mom told me to go catch my breathe. The rest of my family arrived and took turns talking to her. I bet she was exhausted that day because we Longs can sure talk. 🙂 Sandy died three days later. The Doctors told us its a common phenomenom for people on life support to improve slightly right before they die.

Just until this passed year I would say honestly I wasn’t honoring the promise I made to Sandy as she laid dying. I didn’t take very good care of myself until last year. I focused more on others than myself and lost myself in the process. But, today in a moment of bittersweet reflection I am reminded of my sister’s last days of life and how those promises I made her fourteen years ago now are the driving force behind my new life now. Those promises are the reason I survived the last two years. They are the reason I didn’t give up. I made my dying Sister a promise and I intended to keep it.

I would gladly take care of anyone I love. That is what love is all about. I would gladly go back to those days of driving her to Doctor’s appointments, helping her with her cane and then eventually her walker. I would gladly go back and sit with her on her bed talking. She really enjoyed our conversations after I had been drinking:-) Sober people always enjoy long talks with drunks at 2:00am in the morning.  hahahahhahaa. 🙂  The point is I would gladly do all that I did for her for anyone I love. It’s my choice.

Thank you Sandra Marie Long for loving me and being a spectacular big sister.

Photo Credit:
Fairie Princess Sisters – James Yale

One thought on “A Promise To Keep – Poem For My Sister Sandy

  1. Reblogged this on Linda Long Writes! and commented:

    I am reposting this today to wish my sister, Sandy, a Happy Birthday. I believe spirits never leave us. I know she is with me and is the wind beneath my wings and the strength that I’ve needed the last two years. Everything I am is because she loved me and was loving, caring, nurturing big sister. Some days I choose to not think of her because the pain of her loss still hurts me so much. If I let myself think about it too much, I could drown in my sorrow. But, I am choosing to keep the promise I may to her just before she died. I promised her I would live my best life and I would live by her example. Head to sky and a open loving heart.
    With all the love in my heart, I wish my sister, Sandy, a very happy birthday.
    Your Lunar ‘lil Linda
    PS: Sandy called me Lunar ‘lil Linda because she said I was sensitive to people and the Moon cycles. She knew I was a “highly sensitive person” even as a child.


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