To my sister…

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My sister Mary Danz passed away on Thursday, December 15. She was a beautiful soul with a generous laugh and wonderful smile that lit up a room.

You were a Christmas baby, born on December 25, thus our parents named you Mary. Compassionate, caring, generous and loving, you embodied Christmas year round, sharing your many beautiful gifts with all. You loved to craft and make unique presents for family and friends, but your true gift, one you gave so freely, was your heart.

You were my big sister. We shared a bed when we were children, snuggling together, whispering in the dark. Interesting how life always brings us full circle. I lay next to you those last few nights, sharing stories of our childhood. And I read to you, just as I did when we were children, me just learning to read, you helping me sound out the words. This time you were quiet, but I knew you were listening. It was a beautiful book, a parable about the journey of life; you understood far better than I.

Having had no children of your own, you embraced first my children and then my grandchildren. They called you Moonie and you were a wonderful aunt, always there for them, providing a safe, fun-filled space for them to just be, exactly and only who they were. Your gift of unconditional love helped to mold them into the wonderful people they grew to be.

When my daughter Kristi died, you were the first one there, making the phone calls, helping us navigate the thorny path of grief and loss. You were strong, a rock I could lean on, even though your own heart was breaking.

You had a steady stream of visitors at the hospital, testament to the many people you shared your light with. Like most of us, I don’t think you realized how many people you touched, how many people loved you. I could tell you were enjoying the attention, basking in the love of family and friends. I called you Queen Moonie, holding court one last time and you graced us with one beautiful final gift, the chance to say goodbye.

Thank you Mary, for allowing me to be with you as you took your last breath. I have been blessed by you, first in life and then in death. You gave me the most precious gift of all. Peace and joy be with you until we are together again.

I love you.


The tide recedes, but leaves behind, bright seashells on the sand
The sun goes down, but gentle warmth, still lingers on the land.
The music stops, and yet it echoes on in sweet refrain . . .
For every joy that passes, something beautiful remains.
- Author Unknown

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