June 1, 2014

Ilona crossed over this morning.   It was expected --she had been in a coma for several days after a long rough year of ill health.  
But we are never quite ready to let them go.   There is an  empty space where she once was..  It hurts.
In the coming days that space will be filled with her essence as we remember ....remember....remember her.
     Ilona and I grew up together, were little girls together, played house together.  She always wanted to be a nurse. . . She was an orphan raised by a loving auntie.  Her mom was Aunt Sadie, and another auntie was Aunt Lila.  These two aunties were sisters and had beautiful singing voices.  Ilona and I sat at their feet and listened to the blending of their voices and harmony was born in our souls..I have never forgotten the sound. . Ilona and I sang in choirs and choruses all throughout our school years.  My brother Alton was there too, all during all that time.   We three formed a trio and sung in the Baptist churches all over Denver.  Our high school years revolved around the chorus, the choirs and the Acapella Octets of Manual Training High School in Denver.  Those were among the happiest years of my life.
My brother married that girl and Ilona became my true sister forever.
     I was the first to be married.  It was just after Pearl Harbor.
 I met Claude at the little flying school where we were both employed.  He was commissioned as an Ensign in the USNR and off we went to war.    I missed the weddings of my siblings, but Ilona and I kept up an active correspondence all through those years.  Our first babies were born only a couple months apart, and we compared notes in our letters.  
We were more closely bonded than most blood sisters.   
Last night I was awakened out of a sound sleep by a strange luminous 'flash'!   An image appeared in my mind of a painting--I can still see it....  the colors are vivid.  It was a grouping of tropical birds with long tail feathers.  They were beige and white with red and black whip-like tails.   Somehow I knew it was Ilona, and I got out of bed and went to the computer to see if there were any messages of her passing.  Nothing yet.
I felt odd-- as if I were in a strange space.  I think it was somewhere around 1 am.   I do not know the significance of the painting, but I am sure there is one, and Ilona knows.   I will ask her when I see her.. . . . .
Love, Betty

Post Script:

Ilona had a sister, Juanita, who was a gifted artist.  Juanita encouraged me in my artistic endeavors and it just occurred to me that the ‘visitation’ I had in the night last night might have been from Juanita—alerting me to Ilona’s passage.   The painting was very much like Juanita’s work.    Something to ponder on.

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