A few years ado, my sister Ophelia flew to Texas from Nevada to visit us. Then she and I drove back to Nevada, visiting family on the way, and seeing many places she had never seen. We visited our mothers grave-site in Clarendon, Texas, Four Corners, Arches National Park, and dozens of oher places. It was a fantastic trip for both of us.
When we left Linden, and stopped the very first time for fuel, Ophelia said I'll clean the windshield. She started cleaning, and I said that's okay, I'll clean it soon as I fuel up. I enjoy a clean windshield, and especially while traveling, and I was sure I could do a better job than she could. After all, isn't that a mans job?
When I got back in the car, the windshield was unbelievable clean. She had worked on it the entire time we were stopped, and even did the side windows and mirrors. The last time it was that clean was when it came off the assembly line. I couldn't believe it. After that, at every fuel stop, she did all the glass and mirrors, and sometimes the headlights and tail lights. I commented about that, and she said one time Sylvia (our younger sister) had washed the entire car while the car was being fueled.
I forgot about that statement, until a few days later when we were fueling up at a truck stop in New Mexico. After I fueled up, Ophelia was cleaning glass, I went inside to pay, and there was a long and slow line to the register.
I could see Ophelia washing away, and after she finished the glass, she started washing the paint. I went to the restroom, and she was still working away. Mischievously, I thought, I wonder if she will really wash the entire car? So instead of going on out, I browsed and looked at the merchandise, and watched Ophelia. She kept looking toward the building for me, but she also kept working.
The people at the counter were watching her, then they started looking at me. They were talking about us, so finally I went outside. The car was sparkling clean, and I felt really really big time bad, when Ophelia said,” Where have you been? I was so worried about you, and started to come looking for you.” I didn't have the heart to tell her I was inside watching all the blessed time. But now she will know, when she reads this. Anyone want to nominate me for the “heel” of the year award? I'd vote for me (twice) for that title.
My sister Ophelia was always the dainty one in our family of eight. As kids in Texas during the Dust Bowl and Depression days, back in the “good old days when times were bad,” we invented our entertainment and built our own toys. Most of our “games” were very physical, and basically self invented. “Pop the whip” was very challenging and physical, especially if you were at the end of the whip, where little Roy usually was. Little dainty sister Ophelia watched and laughed about my skinned knees and elbows.
We're old now, near the end of our earthly journey, but I still remember her consoling me as a child, when I skinned a knee, or was crying over some other matter. I love my sweet sister Ophelia, and recently wrote this poem for her.
“My Sister Ophelia”
My mind is old and forgetful, near the end of my long road. Most my life is now behind me, past mistakes an awful load.
The Good Lord gave us life, and He gave us our free will. Early memories are getting fainter, but I remember you still
You were the dainty little girl, who watched our rugged play. Laughing and clapping your hands, always out of harms way
“Old Sow” brought many bruises, to my ego and my shin. You were there to console me, always, through thick and thin.
I can still go back in time, many good memories there exist. Good memories of "you," my sister, makes a mighty long long list.
Searching my mind is getting harder, thankfully its only part. Then I search even deeper, find you buried in my heart.
You are there until eternity, until the Lord takes me away. Till we see Mom in Beulah Land, now won't that be some day?
I love you sweet sister Ophelia
Postscript: On November 17th, 2017, Ophelia left us for her Eternal Home. See you soon, my sweet sister.
Roy Bale can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.