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The Boston Globe



My carefree sister

She’s gone now, but can I, the cautious one, catch a bit of her happy-go-lucky spirit?

A DREARY RAINY DAY finally cleared a bit at last, so I went to the dam to see the sun set over the Upper Mystic Lake. The lake was teeming with herring come from the ocean to spawn. Seagulls, black-crowned night herons, Canada geese were all finishing up for the day. Just a few people were about.

 A woman with dark blue eyes and dark blond hair came to talk to me, startling me just by looking so much like my sister, dead five years now, from Alzheimer’s. We agreed the evening was a fine one. I didn’t know what to say to her, about my sister, so I didn’t say anything. It hurt and pleased me at the same time, to have her standing talking to me. Boo and I were “Irish twins,” and she would have loved the lake, the dam, the birds, the herring. We had traveled together to the Caribbean, to Utah, canoed the Green River for four days with her husband and friends. 

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