Leaving a legacy
Feb. 17, 2014
by Jenni Sebora

One year ago, my sister, Kathryn, passed away. There is never a week that goes by that something does not spark a memory and thought of her.

She was my very own cheerleader. Well, actually, I shared her with my three children. She was their biggest supporter. She was their pseudo grandmother, as their grandparents on both sides passed away several years ago. I never asked her if she would fill this role, she just did. She always did.

Every child needs someone who is biased (in their favor) and in their corner at all times. Someone who outwardly conveys that they are the best kid in the whole wide world, at least to them. Grandparents are the premier people who fit this bill.

My sister would cut out newspaper articles and pictures of my children, and then send the article with a card, letter, or short recognition note to them. This is love.

When she would attend an event or activity that one of my children participated in, it was always followed with a handwritten note about specifics of their individual participation.

She would even take notes at the concert or recital to hone in on the effort of my child. She would rewrite her notes in her beautiful handwriting and send the letters in the mail to them.

I have saved every card, letter, and note that she sent to them. I will never forget the effort and love she put into each of those meaningful labors of love. They meant as much to me as to my children.

I love to decorate for the holidays, and never a Christmas went by that she did not recognize my efforts and comment on specific décor. Her words were so genuine and sincere.

This past Christmas – our first without her physical presence – as I was decorating the trees and fireplace, and hanging stockings, her words of acknowledgement rang, not in my ears, but deeply in my heart. They will always remain with me.

March madness is upon the Sebora household, as our youngest child’s birthday is at the tail end of February.

Our other two children, as well as myself have March birthdays. (My twin brother’s is, too, of course.)

Never a birthday went by without a card in the mail – from my sister, of course.

Even though we would have birthday parties for my kids, which she attended, she always sent a card to them that they each received on their exact birthdate. I think I will still be looking for those cards to arrive.

If I could tell my sister the legacy she left, I would love to have that opportunity. I always told her I loved her; however, I don’t think she knew how much she meant to all of us.

It is such a testament to how we should never let an opportunity go by, to tell and show others what they truly mean to us in our lives – old advice, but always true.

My sister was quiet, and, I would say, somewhat introverted. She did not socialize a lot other than with family. She worked from home, and spent a lot of her time there.

Family was her thing. She was kind and unselfish, and always giving. She was very humble.

Because she was somewhat introverted, at least to the social world, I believe many people never knew her true self. Her family did, though, and I will always be grateful for her presence in my life.

Her legacy lives on with us. She made a difference in our lives, and that should be what living is about – making a difference in someone’s life. That is a legacy to leave, and my sister left a wonderful legacy.

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