I was 10 years old, playing at the gate of our garden; one of those dull moments that many of us experience in our young age. Caught in my own world and thoughts, I was on the stairs, at the entry of our house; the same house, she has just recently seen for the last time. I heard the hummm of the Jeep my father drove; it stopped and he stepped out. “You have a sister”, he said.

I had a sister. I had a sister. I had a sister. I loved her so much. I appreciated her. I lost a lot when she died. I lost a true friend. Odelia was loving. She was also loving me. I am ten years older than she was, and yet there was something about her that made me feel secured when I was around her. Her approach to life was so….how to say…. positive, optimistic, based on hope and confidence:
“if anything can go wrong, it won’t”.

Now I need help. I do not know how to continue writing, to paint here the lines of her outstanding personality. How can I do that without boring phrases and cliches that people spread on paper when losing their loved one?

Help me dear reader, help me match my poor writing to the size of her personality… She was kind, clever, ambitious, caring, loving, a true friend, organised, generous, giving, hospitable, creative, ambitious, funny, nice, pretty. And much more.

I had a wonderful sister.

I had a sister.

I had my private Odelia.

The one who would come to see me, late at night, cuddle in a blanket on the living room sofa and say “so tell me in details what’s going on with you”. No matter what I said, she wanted more. She was interested. In those precious moments, she was my private Odelia. The Odelia I could have only for myself even if it was for these rare moments.

I had a sister, but Devil Cancer was flying around her, trying to swallow her, and she did not let. Up until the last minute, she has not given up. Hours before she passed away she was still managing her medical survival battle. Until Odelia was defeated by the illness.

I sense a mixture of anger and sadness. I never knew sadness can be deep, so deep.

I had a sister. I really had.

It was just a few weeks ago, so close. Last time I saw her, she was laying on the left side on her body. She was connected to the oxygen mask. It was her last hours. Her face was somewhat swollen, she was exhausted, she was not communicating, or so I thought. I told her loud, “Odelia, I love you my sweet.” She opened her eyes, and rolled then up to me, on a side look. I do not know if she heard me, and if she could connect me the the voice she heard.

I never saw my Odelia again.

I miss her so much. My pain became a heavy emotional load. But the pain of her three daughters, the pain of Aviad, and mainly the sharp teeth of the pain of my Mom. Her Mom.

I had a sister. Odelia

Remembering Odelia

(July 1967 – Sep 2012)

Remembering Odelia at the Memorial evening organized in her memory on 11th October 2012 at the Tel Aviv University.

Next: Doron Zisserman