Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Honoring My Sister... Kathy Sue Hankins

Hello Everyone!

I wish this could be an uplifting post, but some will find it sad...For me, it's so very bittersweet...It's meant to remember a beautiful, kind and so very sweet person...My Big Sister...Kathy Sue Hankins, who died so very unexpectedly one morning in May 2009 at 49 years of age.  On that unforgettable day, in May, I was the only one who was able to see her laying there on her sofa, in her house, her hand under her head sleeping so peacefully for eternity.  She was so pretty, so at peace...No grimace of pain, just peaceful sleep... What an amazing way to go. She passed away from a massive heart attack while taking a nap.

I wipe the tears that have not been evaporated by the Texas summer air from my eyes as I am out on my studio porch embarrassed of the emotions that seem to pour from me...I feel so guilty that as time has passed I have forgotten her birthday of August 4th.  I tell myself I was so busy and try to justify my forgetfulness...However, I will stand as her messenger, her spokesman if you will... to a life that cannot be forgotten and scribe now of the wonders that was  my big Sister, "Sue Belle".

To be honest, I'm so afraid that people will forget how wonderful Kathy was.  Maybe quite personally and selfishly it's because I am so afraid that I haven't left any legacy behind and I'm the one who is scared to be forgotten... I have nothing to leave this world, no children, nothing to carry on.  Just like Kathy, we would have loved to have had children, and would have been wonderful parents... but it just wasn't in the cards or seriously...God's will.  In my mind it's a terrible thought to be forgotten, so today, I honor Kathy Sue Hankins as I will every year that I am able...

I was honored to go through her house when she passed and pack away all of her possessions,  It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  What would she want me to keep...Was I throwing away something that she thought was valuable... It was a monumental and honestly humbling experience.  She kept everything!  Kathy WAS the family archivist...small things that my nephews and nieces made, things that I had made her that were meant for the trash...she kept...

I came across a huge box of photos of fun times she had with her friends and family and came to the realization that  this was a small part of the legacy she left behind.    I wanted to share  a few of these photos so that we, her family and friends could take a moment to remember Kathy Sue Hankins on her birthday month...
















Kathy Sue Hankins

August 4, 1959 - May 11, 2009

Never Forgotten and Always Loved



Thanks for helping me to remember this remarkable woman...

Jim

The Gentleman Crafter




22 comments:

  1. A loving tribute to a wonderful sister.

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  2. You should not feel guilt over anything. You very obviously love and miss your sister and it is more important that you keep her in your heart than write a blog on her. She looks like a fun and beautiful person and I am sorry I did not know you or her before her passing. It sounds like she died peacefully and without pain. Whether you know it or not, you are leaving a legacy with your art work. You are making a huge impact on people and having you and Cesar in my life make me a better person. Thank you for everything you do and continue carrying the love for your sister in your heart.

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  3. Jim....what incredibly sweet and personal memories you have shared here. You truly touched my heart and I could identify with so many of your feelings about your sister's passing and not wanting her memory to fade because of how wonderful she was. I have not lost a sibling but I have those same feeling about my parents.
    Thank you for sharing this very personal part of yourself. I have always known you as a kind, gentile southern gentleman with an immense amount of charisma and talent. Now I can add a very deep, spiritual side to this list of reasons to love and respect you so much. May your sweet sister always be remembered. I am sure she is smiling down on her little brother with great pride.

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  4. Beautiful tribute! and Mr Jim, you have a wonderful legacy....your creations, your written word. I so enjoy all your posts. You make me giggle. I look forward to seeing what pops up on facebook. I'm sure your sister would agree, you are the best! She'll never be forgotten and a slip of a birthday happens to us all. Happy birthday to Kathy Sue!

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  5. Jim this is absolutely beautiful. One of the greatest joys of my life will always be singing and laughing with Kathy Sue. My boys loved her so and remember Ms. Kathy's laugh. I used to call her the Josh whisperer, because when he was little and cranky, Kathy could always soothe him and make him smile or laugh. She was that way with everyone she met. She had a calming peace about her that was contagious. Thank you for sharing.

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  6. Beautiful tribute to your sister. They are never forgotten. Perhaps not always on our mind but forever and always in our heart and soul.

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  7. Wonderful remembrance of what seems t be a wonderful soul. We put them safely away in our hearts and carry them always. R.I.P.

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  8. Wonderful remembrance of what seems t be a wonderful soul. We put them safely away in our hearts and carry them always. R.I.P.

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  9. What a beautiful way to honor your sister! Don't beat yourself up because you forgot her birthday--honestly, it took your post to remind me that it was 16 years ago this month that my older sister was left in a persistent vegetative state due to post-surgical complications. Even when we overlook the sentimental dates, we never forget what is truly important--the love we have for those people we've lost. I pray God will comfort you as you reflect on the bond you shared with your sister.

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  10. What a lucky guy you are to have such a wonderful sister! Thanks for sharing her legacy with us. Big hugs, my friend.

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  11. This was so beautiful and thank you so much for sharing. On another note, you will not be forgotten, ever, sweetie.

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  12. As I sit here with tears streaming, you were blessed. As was Sue Belle. What a wonderful life she lived, backed up by the pictures that you shared. She was loved. And really, isn't that what we all want. May your memories of her bring you comfort today and always, Jim.

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  13. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful sister. Jim, let me tell you, your legacy is your wonderful heart and soul. Every person you and Cesar touch comes away with warm feelings of love and appreciation. Your art is outstanding but your heart is what draws so many of us to you. I felt like I had another brother that I wish I could spend more time with after the first time I met you. Surely you have noticed how many of your "fans" profess their love for you. This isn't lip service. ...it is an acknowledgement of the feelings of warmth and sincerity that you project. Good bless you, Jim and Cesar, for being in our lives.

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  14. What a wonderful tribute and sharing of your sister and her life and most of all your heart, Jim❤️ Through you she will never be forgotten. Hugs to you and your family, my friend xoxoxoo

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  15. What a beautiful tribute thanks so much for sharing, obviously love this beautiful sister, and as long as you live she will not be forgotten. hugs to you and Cesar, may you be at peace at her very peaceful passing.

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  16. What a loving tribute, Jim! She looks like she was a lot of fun! No wonder you miss her!

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  17. Very beautiful! She would have loved reading this tribute. Thank you for sharing your wonderful sister with us.

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  18. What a lovely tribute to your sister! You were so fortunate to have each other!

    Noreen
    Crafty Journal

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  19. Your sister will never be forgotten, she is alive in your heart, in the hearts of all who knew and loved her and she lives forever now in heaven with God. I have lost my mother, father, a dear cousin and way too many friends, and I know the feeling of being the one who doesn't have any children or legacy, but I know that just being a good and kind person will be what people will remember about me, as they will about you and already do about your lovely sister. Thank you for sharing her story, her photos and your memories of her with all of us. I feel honored to have gotten to know her through you. May God grant you peace.

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  20. Hi from across the "pond" Jim (to be precise I'm in Laughten-en-le-Morthen, South Yorkshire, UK) Gosh, it's been a while since I last left a comment on your blog despite visiting regularly. This time though, having read your latest post, I just wanted you to know that I was truly touched by your wonderful tribute to your dear sister. It was just beautiful. As for your not leaving a legacy, my goodness me, that is just not true! Your inspiration, creativity and sheer generosity of spirit has touched the lives of thousands and thousands of people all over the world and THAT dear friend is your legacy, and what a great legacy. Keep on rocking! because we're with you all the way! Take care.
    Margaret A.

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  21. Lovely post. Coming up on a difficult anniversary of my own, but I know the woman I am missing is happy and healthy now. She would not want me mourning her possessions, but remembering all the life we shared together. She was a mom to me years after my mom died. Your sister is always with you, and you with her.

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