Today would have been my sister Cynthia's 54th birthday. Cynthia was the youngest of George and Marian's four daughters (I'm the oldest) and battled alcohol and drug demons for a good part of her life. She passed away on May 27, 2004 and we miss her every single day.
As I said, I'm the oldest of four daughters. Two years after I was born, my parents had the NERVE to bring another "thing" into my very comfortable only child environment (Sally), then everything went to hell in a handbasket when Susie was born a year later, then Cynthia came along in 1956. This photo was taken in 1959 at the home of family friends Mr. & Mrs. Sharp--that's Mom on the left who conveniently arranged us in front of her by age. Look at the head of curls on CC! That's why when I saw the angel at the top of this post at Hobby-Lobby I just had to get her (she resides in my living room along with CC's box).
Susie & Cynthia riding my horse, Boss Man at a horse show somewhere in northern California in 1965.
Susie, Dad, Cynthia and Sally--deep into their hippie chick phase--in 1972.
San Francisco, 1973--me, Susie, Curly & Sally (this photo was actually taken at their wedding in the furniture display showroom where they worked!) and CC.
1978--Cynthia surrounded by men. Her first husband, Harald, is directly in front of her. But who in the hell is that hottie on her right and why wasn't she married to HIM?!
In 1985, Cynthia came to visit Sally in Los Angeles and my first husband, Lynn & I flew down from San Francisco and woo-hoo! We all went to Disneyland! Is Sally holding a cigarette? I'll bet you can't smoke at the Happiest Place on Earth any longer, though (but she stopped long ago anyway).
I know Sally would like to kill me right now, but this is how she wore her hair in 1985.
CC also came to visit her oldest sister (moi) in San Francisco. My hair isn't much better since I sort of look like a dyke. My hairdresser at the time was one of Lee Marvin's daughters who really WAS a dyke, so maybe that explains it . . .
CC and Mom, 1987. Cynthia's hair was starting to revert from wavy back to curly. A little while ago I had my friend Rachel at Two Dog Pond make pendants of this photo for each of my sisters and nieces.
OK, don't laugh too hard. Sometime in the 90's, everyone got together at my Dad's house. He had been married to his beloved Joycie for many years by then.
On the floor: Susie's daughter Corinne, husband John and son Sean. Seated are Susie, Cynthia, Sally, me, Sally's husband Mike and daughter Amy. Wanna feel old? Sean is married, Corinne is getting married next March, and Amy is in college.
Early 90's--Cynthia and her second husband Tony.
I think 1991 was the last time I saw my cheekbones. Sad. Remember that angel up top? This is the photo that made me buy her.
Someone, perhaps Harald, gave Cynthia this pendant as a birthday present in 1976. I found it when I was going through the last of Mom's things after she had passed away so I wasn't able to ask her about it. Very 70's.
I made a necklace for the pendant and hung it around the angel. Engraved on the back:
Susie's husband John is a fantastic amateur woodworker and he made this box to hold some of CC's ashes.
A year after CC died the family held a memorial service for her. I found this poem and CC's beautiful daughter, Toni Marie, read it to the group:
"Sleeping at last, the trouble and tumult over,
Sleeping at last, the struggle and horror past.
Cold and white, out of sight of friend and lover,
Sleeping at last.
No more a tired heart downcast or overcast,
No more pangs that wring or shifting fears that hover,
Sleeping at last in a dreamless sleep locked fast.
Fast asleep. Singing birds in their leafy cover
Cannot wake her, nor shake her the gusty blast.
Under the purple thyme and the purple clover . . .
Sleeping at last."
Gogie, Sally & Susie