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Maria Greg in Brunswick GA May 1967
Image by greg frucci via Flickr

 I started writing this back on February 12, 2011…Maria’s birthday…

Today, February 12, 2011, my younger sister Maria would have been 48 years old.  In August of 2004 she quietly died in her sleep surprising all of us in our family…

I grew up in a loving and whole family…in that way I have been blessed…some say lucky.  Growing up, I took the family relationship for granted…it was all I knew, not realizing what I was blessed with.  Mom and Dad had issues from time to time as married couples do, but they loved each other and stayed married for over 35 years before Dad died.  In the same way, my younger brother, sister and I were solid and strong growing up.  Sure, we had arguments from time to time, but we were family…we played, communicated and got along fantastically for the most part.  As Military Brats, we moved around quite a bit which strengthened us as a unit even more.

Continuing into adulthood, we grew into…creating the individuals we become, yet we remained strong as a family for many years.  My Brother, Mother and I are a tight unit at our cores to this day, although strained at the moment because of what I am about to do…we will be fine again after the voyage is complete…this I feel.

A few years before she died, Maria and I spoke less and less.  The disconnection between us was something I created because of my selfishness in choosing not to understand her…or even try…this I am not proud of.

My sister, Maria was suffering from several different physical illnesses…she suffered from Migraines and Epstein Bar Syndrome among others. I allowed my incredible arrogance and refusal to understand what she was going through, to create unbelieving attitude on my part.  She took multiple heavy medications for those illnesses one of which and/or the combination of all of the meds killed her while she slept.  Six months before Maria died, I chose to stop talking with her…my own flesh and blood, I cut out of my life.  For my actions and lack of action, I am ashamed.  My own self-created negativity at the time fostered the disconnection.  My sister, Maria died without knowing that I loved her because I did not speak those words to her…I judged her.  I wanted her to be something she was not.  I was too caught up in my own life to spend a little time accepting who she was no matter what she was going through.  I  really did not have to understand anything…all I had to do was accept her for what she was…my Sister.  The last words she ever heard from me were most likely negative ones.

So many life lessons here…ones I still struggle with as we all do.  Today, May 30, 2011, I have even battled some of the walls today which are embedded in the story above.  “Changing Course” is about battling fears…the fears which create all negativity.  As humans, me included, we face something we fear and we react.  The choice is always to challenge what we come across or up against and either move forward accepting what we find or sit down on the ground and cry about it moving no where…quit.  I choose not to quit and move forward…accepting everything…including how my Sister Maria died…and knowing that the lesson of which has made me stronger.  I accept my lack of understanding and arrogance at the time…I accept the way I reacted to her Way.  I accept my negativity at the time and what I have suffered since her death.  Her gift to me is a loving one…the gift is continually learning to accept all humans in whatever way the are…unconditionally…Love.  This lesson, I am still learning…even this day and will all of my life.  Thus, positivity out of something negative has been found.

I love you, Maria…and I know…I feel…you are one of my Angels…I know you will  be with me while I am at Sea.

We walk our paths in our own Way, yet we are all the same in our cores…we are Human.

I love all of you…even if I do not Know You.

Peace to you,

— frucci 🙂

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