When Gail was a baby, she took longer than usual to start talking. She didn’t need to talk. She had a big sister to speak for her and make sure she got what she wanted and needed. Perhaps there is a symmetry to life as I find myself speaking here today. Gail was my baby sister.
There was less than three years difference in our ages, so we grew up together. We were constant playmates when we were young. I remember the hours we spent in Barbie fantasy land. We made clothes for the dolls. We were years ahead of Mattel in developing Barbie couture. We fought over the Ken doll that had two arms. The other Ken lost one of his in a tragic backyard accident. We even dyed my blonde Barbie’s hair with a black marker so it would have the same color hair as her doll. After all, sisters are supposed to have the same color hair. We also got in big trouble over it as the process resulted in black marker getting on much more than just the doll’s hair.
I remember the great fun we had teasing and, yes, torturing our little brother. Being the youngest and outnumbered, he never had a chance. Standing outside the screen door with him trapped inside, chanting “Bruce, the Goose” never failed to send us into fits of laughter and him howling to Mom in anguish. We found infinite ways to entertain ourselves and, most definitely, endless reasons to bicker and brawl. Just because she was the quiet one, no one should even be deceived that she did not instigate as often as I. She had great curiosity, creativity and mischief in her soul. I don’t believe I have any early childhood memories that don’t include Gail.
We shared a room with matching bedspreads. We shared toys and books. We even shared the same bad haircut for far too many years. Sorry, Mom. We shared clothes and shoes. We shared our secrets and our dreams. We shared our disappointments and our tragedies. We shared our lives. We shared everything . . . as only sisters can and we fought . . . as only sisters can, but through it all we loved each other . . . as only sisters can. A lifetime is a long time to spend sharing with someone. Right now, I can’t imagine life without her, but I know she will always remain in all things I was lucky enough to share with her and never further away than my heart.
My sister lost her battle with ovarian cancer last Saturday, February 4, 2012. She will be sorely missed.
For any wishing to make a contribution, we believe Gail would have wanted to help others fighting the battle she did and would suggest donations to The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF). Your gifts would support OCRF’s mission to fund the best and most promising ovarian cancer research to find better ways to prevent, treat, and cure this disease.
Under the “Donate/Tribute Information” Section please indicate Gail Smith as the Honoree. Please use James Tuba at email firstname.lastname@example.org for the contact and select e-mail notification.