Today in My History
Books Read in 2021
Cast (updated 7/16)
14 September 2021
It's 49 years since the death of my sister. She died at age 24, so she has been dead twice as long as she was alive. She was shot by her partner, who first said that she (the partner) had decided to commit suicide and Karen tried to take the gun from her and in the process the gun went off accidentally.
Her death became my father's great sorrow and nobody else could share it. My mother was afraid to cry around him. He became obsessed with proving Bernie's guilt and his anger was kind of the straw that broke the camel's back of my parents' shaky marriage.
Karen and I were 4-1/2 years apart (Bri and Lacie are 3-1/2 years apart) and were never close. She was sports and tailored clothing; I was frills and girly stuff. I was jealous whenever she decided she liked something I did (like Judy Garland, for example...when I started a scrapbook, she did too. I was not very nice about it.)
I'm sure we did things together, but today I don't remember them. The only "uniting" things we had between us was our fear of our father and our frustrations with his mother ("Hon, like a good girl would you...")
In her senior year in high school, Karen fell in love with a woman and became very secretive. My mother thought she broke the relationship up, but when Karen moved to her own apartment with a "roommate" she made up a name and the woman was the same one she met in high school. She separated herself from the family for a long time, until she finally admitted who her roommate was. (These were the days before PFLAG and my parents agonized over "what they had done wrong.")
The roommate eventually broke Karen's heart and she found another partner, Bernie, whom we all loved for bringing Karen back into the family. But they had their disagreements and Karen finally found another place to live. Bernie, angry, shot her. She eventually confessed.
The last time I saw her was 3 days before she was shot. She and Bernie came to our house for dinner. Karen brought delicious salsa and was going to give me the recipe. We had such a great time that when they left, my thought was "Maybe now that we are adults, we will finally be friends."
That seems like a whole lifetime ago and I truly have never felt great sorrow about her death, other than how much it hurt my mother. We were never close as sisters, and not even close friends. But I do admit that in these Alzheimers years (and in the years when my parents' marriage was falling apart), I have sometimes been angry with her for being safely 6 feet under.
Bernie was sent to a prison hospital for 6 months for observation and we lost track of her after that, so I don't know if she served time for Karen's murder or not. I have tried looking for her on the Internet, with no luck.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Karen, grammar school
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This is entry #7843