Forever young / Por siempre joven

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

TODAY IS THE 40TH ANNIVERARY of my sister Dale’s death. I find that astounding. Dale was 29 when she died and she was, as The Kid Brother referred to her, Big Sister. So trying to imagine her as she would be at the age of 69 is impossible.

I wonder if our relationship would have survived the years or if we would have simply become distant siblings who at best “kept in touch.” Sibling dynamics change over time, and Dale and I were very different. In temperament, in interests, in intellect, in our approach to life. Our bond was strongly linked to our understanding of what we each had survived (and helped each other through) growing up in our family. From the outside, I’ve since been told by neighbors, our family was something to envy. I thought so. That made things even more difficult for the two of us. We knew the truth. Or perhaps we were the ones who were wrong. Dale and I of course fought as kids but we always adored each other and we did help each other surive. So, I suppose I’m grateful now that we never lost that part of us.

My maternal grandfather’s sister died in New York during the influenza pandemic in 1918. She was 24 and he was 28. He never got over that loss and once told me more than 60 years later, “She was so beautiful,” while my grandmother stood behind him secretly (unkindly) shaking her head in disagreement. I’m glad he remembered her the way he did.

I wrote a story about Dale that was published in Mused Literary Review in 2017. Click here if you’d like to read it and learn more about us. It was originally only in English but this morning I translated it into Spanish.

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HOY ES EL 40 ANIVERSARIO de la muerte de mi hermana Dale. Encuentro eso asombroso. Dale tenía 29 años cuando murió y era, como la llamaba The Kid Brother, Big Sister. Entonces, tratar de imaginarla como sería a la edad de 69 años es imposible.

Me pregunto si nuestra relación habría sobrevivido a los años o si simplemente nos hubiéramos convertido en hermanos lejanos que, en el mejor de los casos, “se mantuvieron en contacto”. La dinámica de los hermanos cambia con el tiempo, y Dale y yo éramos muy diferentes. En temperamento, en intereses, en intelecto, en nuestro enfoque de la vida. Nuestro vínculo estaba fuertemente vinculado a nuestra comprensión de lo que cada uno de nosotros había sobrevivido (y nos ayudamos mutuamente) al crecer en nuestra familia. Desde afuera, los vecinos me han dicho desde entonces, que nuestra familia era algo que envidiar. Ya me lo imaginaba. Eso hizo las cosas aún más difíciles para nosotros dos. Sabíamos la verdad. O quizás fuimos nosotros los que nos equivocamos. Dale y yo, por supuesto, peleamos de niños, pero siempre nos adoramos y nos ayudamos a sobrevivir. Entonces, supongo que ahora estoy agradecido de que nunca perdimos esa parte de nosotros.

La hermana de mi abuelo materno murió en Nueva York durante la pandemia de influenza en 1918. Ella tenía 24 años y él 28. Él nunca superó esa pérdida y una vez me dijo, más de 60 años después, “Ella era tan hermosa”, mientras mi abuela estaba de pie. detrás de él en secreto (cruelmente) sacudiendo la cabeza en desacuerdo. Me alegro de que la recordara de la forma en que lo hizo.

Escribí una historia sobre Dale que se publicó en Mused Literary Review en 2017. Haz clic aquí si desea leerla y aprender más sobre nosotros. Originalmente estaba solo en inglés, pero esta mañana lo traduje al español.

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Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

30 thoughts on “Forever young / Por siempre joven”

  1. Dale will be forever young in your eyes. And that is a good thing. As you said siblings can, and do, grow apart over time. And also can become estranged. Just the way it is.
    My brother, Bernard, would have 69 this coming June. I cannot imagine that at all. So many factors hit us in life and we do not stay the same usually.

  2. Surely it would have changed and perhaps the “big sister” would have evolved to become the “sister”, but somehow, Mitchell, I cannot imagine you and Dale would have lost the essence of that closeness had she lived longer. Forever Young is one of my favorite songs and never fails to leave me in tears. Perhaps in inkling of how your memories of Dale leave you.

    1. Wilma:
      Forever Young was not, I think, written with this in mind, but it always hits me this way.

  3. I re-read your story about Dale. And my comments to you from the first time I had read it. My eyes are all teary again, but I’m remembering to love and appreciate my sisters, and my friends.

    1. Judy C:
      For me, it’s about appreciating the ones you love. Thanks so much!

  4. She was beautiful and will always be remembered that way by you. How sweet

    1. Cheapchick:
      When I was a teenager and we’d go shopping together, I’d imagine that everyone thought she was my girlfriend and how did I ever catch someone that looked like that… As if we didn’t look like brother and sister (she improved on all the features) and as if she didn’t look older than me!

  5. I’m sure in some ways it must seem your sister’s death occurred so long ago. And yet the absence is constant, so it’s never really over, is it?

    1. Steve:
      Thankfully, the pain is no longer fresh. (I think it took 20 years!) But, yes, I still can’t wrap my brain around the fact that she’s been gone for 40 years — or that I’m 40 years older!

  6. dale still lives in your heart and mind and in photos. she has never left you.

    1. anne marie:
      Absolutely true. She was the most important person in my childhood and will never really leave me.

    1. TexasTrailerParkTrash:
      Thanks so much. I appreciate the support. I started writing the story not long after Dale died. Every so often, I’d sharpen it until it was published and I stopped playing with it. It started all over again when I translated it to Spanish on Sunday.

    1. Frank:
      Losing anyone special to us is difficult. It’s nice to have incredible memories.

    1. Janie:
      Thanks so much, Janie. I was pleased to be able to finally share it with my Spanish friends, too.

I love your comments.