Now before you start gagging and panicking, keep reading! 🙂

As most of you know by now, my dear sister, Naomi passed away due to a brain aneurysm. Shortly after her home going, I purchased some red bracelets from the Brain Aneurysm Foundation to raise awareness of this horrible disorder. Those of you who frequently see Mark and I, may have noticed that we are wearing these bracelets on our left wrists. The only time I’ve taken mine off in the past 3 1/2 years was on Sarah’s wedding day. It almost became an obsession with me: I got all angst one time when I thought I had lost it but it was just pushed up underneath my sleeve. Did wearing this bracelet mean that I was being loyal to my sister’s memory? Your mind really messes with you when you are grieving.

Recently, every time I look at this bracelet, I’m reminded of a very painful time in our family’s life. I’ve been thinking “Is this really what Naomi would want from me? Would she really want me to focus on this? This event in her life?” This bracelet was becoming more of a weight than an item of memory of my sister.

A few days ago, I told Mark “I think I’m ready to take off my bracelet! I’m ready to let it go.” My sister was so much more than this disease!

My sister was intelligent! From my earliest memories, she was smart and loved learning. A member of the National Honor Society in High School and a whiz in her courses in college. A lover of words, their meanings and their proper use.

Naomi was funny! Oh my goodness, did she ever make us laugh! Calling me to tell me that she just learned that Squanto had a twin brother who was near-sighted…his name was “Squinto”! I think the funniest thing was how she could laugh at herself. She was her own biggest fan.

Naomi was compassionate. Those that were underprivileged were especially close to her heart. The Sheltering Wing Ministry located at the old Peru School was started because of her concern for those who needed help with their babies and young children.

She enjoyed nature. I remember, as kids, spending hours and hours playing in the woods behind our home on Lovejoy Hill with our neighbor and best friend, Angie Moro. As an adult, Naomi, Rodney and the kids enjoyed hiking many of the surrounding mountains around Dixfield with their biggest accomplishment hiking Mt. Katahdin.

Her drug of choice? Her high octane coffee! No decaf for her. 🙂 She liked her coffee strong and full of caffeine. She never understood how I could function without a cuppa joe.

And her greatest pride and joy? The Five Little Farrars. 🙂 They were her life and all she did was because she loved them to the moon and back.

All this to say that I’m choosing to focus on the 41 years that God allowed us to have such a special, funny, loving and compassionate woman in our lives and not focus on the difficult, heartbreaking, horrible last few days of her time here on Earth. I think that’s what Naomi would want.

So, it’s that time to take it off. On January 13th, I’m taking this old bracelet off and saying goodbye to a reminder that I don’t need anymore. I don’t need a physical thing to remind me of one of the best gifts I ever received. My sister, partner in crime, best friend and confidant, Naomi. 🙂