I Tell Stories About Her

For My Middle Sister Liz

It’s now 13 years since she danced out of our lives,
ain’t that amazing…
and still, I forget sometimes that she’s gone.
I go to call her:
I want her opinion on a difficulty with someone, or
I can’t remember how long to cook a soft-boiled egg.
I want her to read this great book I finished, or
tell her what I’ve just discovered.
It’s most inconvenient that she can’t answer.
Who else can I ask these things whose phone number I know by heart?

She comes to me in my dreams.
I tell stories about her.
I wear the antique jewelry she surprised me with over the years.
I laugh her cackle when I laugh.
I see her in our mother’s mirror,
hear her voice in mine,
imagine what it was like for her as a child when I write about her.
I look more like her in my pictures now
so I see her instead of me.
She played big, and life is smaller without her.
And yet, she is with me whenever I think of her, which is often.
And mostly, she still cracks me up.

Catherine & Liz 1988

Catherine & Liz 1988

Liz Duchi: Memorial

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  1. Hello, I am a rare person that doesn’t have a Facebook account. I’m worried about you because of the fires. I hope you & your family are safe.
    Re: the poem, I have a sister I love. It’s not reciprocated. I can only dream of having a relationship as special as yours. You are so lucky you had her. It’s a beautiful testament to her.

    • Hi Kay, I am lucky I had her. She loved me unconditionally (well, we did have one breakdown where she threatened to put a hex on me). My hope is you find other women in your life to be that sister; that’s what friends and mentors are for. Thank you for your concern regarding the fires. I was evacuated and just returned to my home. I spent a week away, and now most happy to be back. I’m one of the lucky ones. My house is fine, and so am I. I’ll start posting the stories again in a few days.

  2. Barbara Jacobsen says:

    Thanks – this is beautiful. Reminds me to value my older sister even tho I’m mad at her (over politics) but she’s about to have surgery and she is a trouper and kind to me. Priorities.

  3. Love it!

  4. David Juarez says:

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful memory and feeling.

  5. Jim Chatfield says:

    Your writing about her shows your love for her. There are times when I feel the same about my redheaded daughter Toni. She could make me smile, laugh, especially on some of her stories about her two boys, and died way before her time. I admire the way you can put your feelings to words. Wish I had your talent.

  6. Susan Davidson Dalberg says:

    Ditto, Catherine. They leave such a void!!!

  7. Marian Clemens says:

    I love this remembering of Liz. It’s so true, the closer we are to someone, the greater the loss when they move on. Your words about Liz bring her back into my thoughts. Thank you.

  8. Thanks for honoring her memory! She was one-of-a-kind.

  9. Jette Franks says:


  10. What a special relationship. You’re so lucky.

  11. Boy I think we all feel that way about a sister we are close to. Mine just left for FL for the winter and I feel her loss of closeness. Thanks for sharing another heartfelt work of love with us.


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