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My Sister Donna Sue

 I haven't been on here for awhile because of issues beyond my control. BUT I've missed blogging and my blogger friends. Hope all is well with you!

I made a quick trip to Tampa recently to visit my sister "Sue" who was quite ill and in the hospital as well.

We were able to have five days together before I had to leave. While I knew she was gravely ill, we shared many light moments and many moments that we were just big sister and little, hugging and giving each other advice. She wanted to take me shopping while I was there, she said, "To buy you something pretty." My sister had perfected the art of shopping like no other human I know. She could tell you which was the very best mattress to buy. What household applicance would outlast all others and first and foremost she could tell you where the best clothes for women could be purchased in the very latest styles. She had one of each item in her closet.

I borrowed a beautiful white cardigan one day to wear to the hospital over a thin shirt because I often got chilled while there. When I entered her room she admired the sweater and said I believe I have one just like it. I said I believe this one is yours. Oh, she said. Well take it home. Nope, I said you might need it. She insisted I take it and I did. So I'm wearing it this week in her honor to keep off the chill of the rainy Ohio day as I read her obituary.

She was and will always be my special sister. She baby sat me from when I was six to about eleven. She looked out for me, loaned me her clothes, made sure I was all right while our mom worked.
We had a step dad but he was often gone, working shift work in the local plant.

I'll miss her for many reasons but the one most outstanding is that I'm not sure anyone will ever love me again as she did, unconditionally. She thought I was perfect. How many of us have a person in our lives like this?

Here's the poem I wrote for her birthday one year.

    DONNA’S BIRTHDAY               

Oh, Donna Dear, your Birthday's here,
Whatever shall I do? Dance without shoes?

Sing you the Blues? But, ugh, those reviews!

You're near to my heart, Sister. You gave me my start.
So here's a poem-present and I hope your day's pleasant.

I'll start with, "I love you, but, will that do,
For a sister who loaned me her white buck shoes,

And her very last bottle of Halo Shampoo?

You danced and twirled and my straight hair you curled.
A black-eyed beauty, you took serious this sister-duty,

While I spent my days in a summer haze
You walked us through that sister-maze.

Can you remember the smell of that sweet clover?
"Red Rover, Red Rover, Send my sister, Donna, on over!"

Oh, to spend one more day of my youth with you.
We'd even invite cousin Anna and cousin Sue.

For old times sake, fudge and popcorn we'd make.
And, to the Boogie Man an iron skillet I'd take!

Maybe we'll never make it to the moon,
But can you come over real ... uh, ... how do you spell SOON?

In memory of my aggravating ways
And our letter-writing days.

I love you still.
I always will.

Your Little Sister,   Bobbie

Obituary of Donna Sue Hoffman

Donna Sue Hoffman, 73, of Sun City Center, FL went home to be with the Lord May 3, 2013.
She was born in Beaver, WV to the late Cecil and Ollie Null (Bailey), and raised in Putnam County.  Donna was a homemaker and a member of the First Baptist Church of Ruskin, FL.
She is preceded in death by her sister, Maxine Snodgrass, and brother, Ralph Null.
She is survived by her loving husband of 57 years, Mr. James "Brownie" Hoffman; daughters Deborah Kay Stegner and Teresa Ann Vollmer; sisters Ella Warren and Barbara Whittington; grandsons Kenny and Kevin Grantham, and special family friend John Zuchowski. She leaves to cherish her memory many nieces and nephews.
A tribute to her life will be 2:00 pm, Friday, May 10, 2013 at Gatens-Harding Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Delbert Hawley officiating. Burial will follow in Walker Chapel Cemetery.   The family will receive friends 6 to 8 pm Thursday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to Life Path Hospice, 3725 Upper Creek Drive, Ruskin, FL 33573.

Rest in peace dear Susie and hold a place at the supper table for me. I'll be along one day...


  1. So sorry for your lose, Barb. Your sister sounds marvelous, the kind of sister I had always wanted (being the only girl in a family of boys). You're lucky to have had the time with (and I'm so glad you were able to go down and visit with her before she passed). My thoughts and prayers are with you!

    1. Thanks, Janet. WE had lots of sister moments in our lives. Some ups and downs but most of them memorable and precious. She's in my heart and my guardian angel now.

  2. So, so sorry to hear about the loss of your sister. Your relationship with her sounds wonderful and close; only how it SHOULD be with sisters! I am lucky enough to have three sisters and I can't imagine life without them as I am close to all of them. Please accept my condolences and may the memory of your sister help you through the dark days.

    1. Thanks so much Pat. I'm thankful to have my older sister left. I've lost two. It's hard to do without any one of them, as they each have a special place in our hearts and lives. Her illness and pain makes this easier to go through. I'll miss her. But I know she's in Heaven, probably watching every little move I now make! Blessings to you and your sisters.

    2. Bobbi, I am so sorry for your loss. The blog and the poem are so precious. I remember Donna a little when we used to come to your house. I remember all the pretty clothes you had and one year several of us went to visit the Catholic church and you had all these pretty hats and we all tried them on and each wore one because it was required to cover you head in church then. I think Donna helped pick out the best one for each of us. I too had a big sister her age, I think they were friends too. I think our big sisters were alike in that they loved us unconditionally. We fought like sisters do at time but nobody else better do or say anything about us lol. Bonnie, like Donna had exquisite taste in clothes and decorating and gardening. In fact she was so good at everything she attempted. I miss her so much. I think about her so often and when I do Im sad until I remember how we would walk down memory lane and then laugh until we about peed our pants. I was fortunate to have her in my life and she even came to live with me for a year just before she went home to be with the Lord, Larry her husband, Mom, Wilmer and now Ralph has joined them. I know they are all happy in heaven and I cant be sad about that, just sad for my loss, but I so look forward to seeing them again when my time comes. I love you Bobbi and know God will give you comfort during this difficult time. Just keep remembering the good times and she will always be with you in spirit.

    3. Carol, you are the sweetest person. When I think of home and school I always remember your pretty smiling face (and how smart you were - I always felt so dumb). I appreciate all your kind words. You're right. Sue and Bonnie were friends. I think everyone who lived in that neighborhood became friends.
      It was a good place to grow up and a good time to be alive back then. Much simpler with less worries or was it just that we were too young to know the tragedies of life? I know we had lots of hats as mother loved them and I remember going to the Catholic church. What fun we had. Not sure why your name came up as it did, Crazy computer. I'm just glad you stopped by. See you at the reunion in June. Love you too, girlfriend.

  3. I'm so very sorry for your loss, but it sounds like you have lots of good memories to hold her close in your heart.

    1. Thanks so much Susan. You're so right. I have the memories as well as her in my heart. God Bless.

  4. I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of your sister Barb. I'm glad you got a few last special moments together. Take care.

  5. Beautiful, Barb. What a tribute to a beloved sister.

  6. Your memories and love of your sister are wrapped around your heart like her lovely sweater is wrapped around your shoulders. I'm so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute and poem. She sounds like such a dear. I have only one sister and we are very close. My Mother was an only girl in a family of 4 boys and when she had my sister she was so happy she could give me a sister! I have 4 brothers and I cherish them but my sister and I have a special bond that I can feel you had with your sweet sister. Please take care Barb.

  7. How sweet and touching, Barbara. I am so sorry for your loss. May God ease your hurt and pain you are feeling now. I love the poem. Our bodies may grow old, but we remain young at heart and remember the carefree days always. Love and prayers to you and your family.

  8. Very touching tribute Barbara. I'm so sorry for your loss.. She was an amazing sister just like you. Prayers for you and your family. Hugs, Susie.


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