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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My sister died today

While the rest of the country is busy remembering 9/11/2001 and the terrorist attacks on that day, I am going to never forget 9/11/2012, the day Lesa Jane Hassett, my only sister, died. She had been suffering from an illness for a while, but kept the details pretty much to herself, so the rest of the family didn't really know how bad it was until quite recently. It was easy really, she lived on Long Island and the rest of us live in upstate New York over 300 miles away. She went into the hospital for the last time on Sunday afternoon and died this morning. Our parents and her husband were with her at the end, her three children had been sent home for the night. She was 46 years old.

She was my big sister, 3 years older than me and when we were kids she always had my back. I didn't always have an easy time of things being a smart, nerdy kid back in the 1970s and 80s, even after I got to be bigger than everybody else, but she was always more socially adept than me and managed to smooth over my rough patches most of the time with bullies. When that didn't work she made sure they knew she would not hesitate to jump into the fray on my side if it came down to it, and she did, on more than one occasion. She also legitimately saved my life twice, both times from being hit by careless drivers when I was small, by throwing herself bodily at me and knocking me out of the way at risk to herself. She was fearless and protective.

She was a daughter, a wife and a mother too, but I only really knew her as a big sister and I will really miss her.

This was the last time all three of us kids were together, for scale Lesa is 5'7" and Jon is 6'1", it was taken at her daughter Shelby's graduation party in my parent's yard - July 2010.

This is one of those studio photos that my parents used to make us get every year back in the 1970s.

This is my mom, Lesa and me as a baby, so 1969-70 depending on how many months old I am here, I am bad at guessing baby ages, even my own.

Rest in peace
 Lesa Jane Hassett
April 15th 1966 - September 11th 2012