She was my maid-of-honor.

She was present at the birth of my son; years later she was present at his graduation from high school.

My favorite photograph of her is when she held my son at his baptism celebration; lovingly, tenderly, carefully, and as a mother would do.

I got to know her best when we were both adults, after her move to The Windy City. Ellie loved the bigness and sophistication of Chicago. It was a good fit.

We would have great long phone conversations, very fun, amusing and encouraging of one another. We planned one day to open a small restaurant together. The menu would be simple: Homemade soups, sandwiches, and salads – our favorite foods.

Several times Ellie, and her then partner, arranged for my husband and I to stay at luxurious hotels when we celebrated our wedding anniversary or visited Chicago’s Art Institute. They also hosted us at their apartment which she had beautifully and tastefully decorated. I remember her loving to add color and texture to furnishings through the use of throw pillows. I regaled in the gorgeous works of art mounted on the apartment walls.

Once she arranged an elaborate spread of food for a colleague and myself when the two of us attended a conference nearby. Ellie gave up her bed to my colleague and I that evening, while she slept on the sofa. My colleague, not easily impressed, was impressed!

Perhaps my fondest memory involves my daughter, then 16, coming to Chicago to find the right accessories for her prom dress. Ellie took us to her favorite downtown department store and helped  purchase jewelry and shoes.

Ellie was my sister. She passed away two years ago this month. I miss her and will never forget her.


The past few weeks have been a hard time and a difficult holiday season. Depression took firm grasp of my mind and darkly colored the days since I last wrote.

This blog today is dedicated to my deceased Great Aunt Lydia. My mother told me that Aunt Lydia was the only relative kind and gutsy enough to accompany mother to the state mental hospital in the 1950’s, visiting my father when he was committed to that facility. I’m impressed by Lydia’s support and I regret I hadn’t leaned this fact while Aunt Lydia was still living.

Love also goes out to those who helped me through these days: My husband, Children, Son-in-Law, and grandchildren, and for the encouragement and support from my brothers.