Earth Day/Birthday Redux

You may have seen this before, but I tried to write something new about my sister Judy.  And, well, this piece really just sums up who she was better than anything I’ve come up with since.

She’s been gone now for 16 years.  Not a day has gone by since that I haven’t wanted to talk with her, laugh with her, or, alternatively because she was my sister, smack her.  There really isn’t a relationship like you have with a sister.  Even long after they are gone.

*****

Today, April 22, is Earth Day!  It’s the  Anniversary of the very first Earth Day.  Here  is Walter Cronkite’s report on the first Earth Day, 1970:

It would also be my late sister Judy’s 64th birthday.

Whoever made the decision to turn Judy’s birthday into Earth Day chose wisely.  Judy was a born environmentalist and recycler.

On the first Earth Day, Judy was a new, very young mother who believed in saving the planet.  She was the first “environmentalist” I ever knew personally, and well, I thought she was nuts.  There was a recycling bin in her kitchen for as long as I can remember.  And this was back when recycling took effort.  She believed in gardens, not garbage, and she made life bloom wherever she was.

I’ve got kids,” she’d say.  “It’s their planet too!”  

But years later, Judy took recycling to a whole different level when she helped people recycle themselves.  In the 1990s, Jude, who was then living in Florida, began working with the Homeless, assisting at shelters.   Then she actively began trying to help homeless vets food, shelter and work — to enable them to jumpstart their lives.

When she died in early 2000, the American Legion awarded her honorary membership for her services to homeless vets.  A homeless shelter was named in her  honor.  So she’s still doing good works, my sister is.  That would make her wildly happy.

Jude also gave me the Beatles.  So it is very appropriate that they wrote a song for her.

You see, the night the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan, it was MY turn to choose what we were going to watch.  And we were going to watch the second part of The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh starring Patrick McGoohan on the Wonderful Wide World of Disney.  My four (all older and MUCH cooler) siblings were furious with me.  But I was quite insistent.  You might even say that I threw a Class I temper tantrum over it, but I wouldn’t admit to that.  But hey, I was seven.  And it was my turn to choose.  Fair is fair, especially in a big family with only one TV.

Somehow, Judy talked me out of my turn.  She was always very persuasive.  Thanks Jude.

Hey Jude, Happy Earth Day-Birthday.

84 Comments

Filed under 2016, ; Don't Make Me Feel Perky Tonigh, All We Are Saying Is Give Peace A Chance, Beatles, Birthday, Childhood Traumas, Climate Change, Crazy family members, Family, Global Warming, Good Deed Doers, Growing up, Health, Heortophobia, Hey Jude, Holidays, Humor, It's not easy being green, Judy, laughter, Love, Missing Folks, Music, Peace, Plagarizing myself, Sisters, Stupidity, Taking Care of Each Other, The Beatles, The Blues

84 responses to “Earth Day/Birthday Redux

  1. “Whoever made the decision to turn Judy’s birthday into Earth Day chose wisely. ” ❤
    thank you for sharing a bit of your sister with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. julie

    Happy earth/birthday Judy!

    Wonderfully touching piece Elyse

    We never stop missing them do we?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Julie. It is SO good to see you!

      As for your second part of the comment, you’re right. Duncan and I often walk mornings in the park with a man named John and his dog. Last week, John’s best friend died suddenly, and John has been rather down. Today, he said, “I’m sorry; I should be over this by now.” Are you nuts? I said. It becomes less acute, but the hole is always there. Always. Always.

      Like

  3. Wow, she sounds like a wonderful woman. I’m sorry for your loss. And yes, what better song than, “Hey Jude.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. Hey Jude really runs the gamut sisters feel. Warm and friendly progressing to yelling! She was pretty terrific, all in all. And I do miss her…

      Like

  4. A beautiful tribute to your sister. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Where’s your diatribe on Charles Koch saying the GOP candidates are so bad that he could actually imagine supporting Clinton? Get on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love that you keep her memory alive! It honors her in the best way.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Not sure how I missed this the first time, but what a lovely tribute to someone who was obviously a lovely person. Loosing a sibling is one of the saddest experiences – part of your childhood goes with them.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The world could certainly use an army of Judy’s today. I love that her birthday & earth day are one in the same … there truly are no coincidences, that was meant to be. I’m glad you shared this, now Earth Day will have more meaning for us all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Tops. Jude had her flaws, that’s for sure. But her wonderful traits more than compensated (usually. She was my sister, after all, and nobody gives their sister a pass on anything!)

      Like

  9. Happy Earth Day, Elyse – your sister sounds like she was wonderful. I love environmentalists (except when they go off the deep end, then I have my issues).

    So… you had a temper when you were a kid, eh? Insisted on getting your way, eh? Hmmmm….

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: The Well | Black Box Warnings

  11. Thanks Bella. You would have liked her!

    Like

  12. Love this and the fact I almost feel I knew her after reading such a warm tribute. Peace.

    Like

  13. It was when Paul appeared as a coverboy on AARP Magazine that I realized that I was almost old. He is a bit older than me!

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  14. That video of Paul makes me feel old. Yeah, I’m late too. So far behind. But the world keeps spinnin’!

    Like

  15. Happy belated Earth Day. I wish I had a sister like Jude as a mentor to environmentalism. Alas, I stumbled upon conservation in my 30’s and didn’t even take that seriously until into my 40’s. Every day’s Earth Day in my house. Lovely tribute and post…glad to have arrived here, Elyse.

    Like

  16. It’s always a party when you arrive, Angie. And say “Hey” to your Jude for me.

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  17. Oh no, Walter! I missed Earth Day? It’s all my fault for getting behind in my blog reading! What an amazing sister you have. Happy birthday, Jude! (Great name! I’m partial to it because it happens to be my son’s name. He’s pretty amazing too, so they have a lot more in common.)

    Thanks for the shout-out. Sorry to arrive late to the party.

    Like

  18. GOF

    Beautifully written tribute to Judy, Elyse, and how wonderful that she gave you examples of compassion…. caring for people and the planet, as well as the greatest musical revolution the world has seen in the last century….. The Beatles.

    Like

    • Thanks GOF. She was wonderful, and like all sisters, terrible on occasion too. That’s how I knew she was human.

      And yes, she gave me the Beatles (and my very first album, “Beatles ’64” which would probably be a collector’s item if I could find it — they didn’t produce many of that one.

      Like

  19. Thanks for paying a tribute to Mother Earth. We are all here, enjoying the air we breath, the food bounty, the beautiful nature around us because Earth is our home. And now that she’s getting older and more populated than ever, we need to take care of her. We all need to give back…wonderful post!

    Like

  20. Beautiful story of family life, love and memories, Elyse 🙂

    Like

  21. Sisters are something great, aren’t they? It’s wonderful that her spirit lives on in many ways, but I know she is missed. This is a really touching post.

    Like

  22. Sounds like she was a wonderful woman and sister. Hopefully when my kids are grown and out of the house I can make a difference in the lives of others like she did.

    Like

  23. I am sure she would love your beautiful tribute and appreciate the connection between her birthday and earthday. Well said.

    Like

  24. I love your sister! Anyone who was a pioneer in enviornmentalism is a hero in my book – and a beatles fan? Clearly she was a woman of impeccable taste as well. Loved this tribute to her, it does her proud. x

    Like

    • She was certainly ahead of the curve on environmental issues — I remember thinking she was completely crazy, though — nobody recycled back then. (I did catch on, though).

      Thanks for your nice comment Karyn!

      Like

  25. What a wonderful tribute!

    Like

  26. Great tribute to your sister … who obviously was a wonderful person!

    Like

  27. Your sister is an instpiration, and this is a great post! I only hope that by the time people realize that the messages of Earth Day are necessary, it isn’t too late…

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  28. Elyse, this is a wonderful tribute. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  29. How appropriate that Earth Day is on her birthday. I’m sure you still miss her.

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  30. Michelle Gillies

    Your sister sounds like an amazing women. She has left behind quite the legacy and you have truly done right by her with your touching tribute.

    Like

  31. Great picks for videos! That Cronkite voice and those McCartney eyes (and voice)… Sigh.

    Like

  32. What a lovely and loving tribute. I was never a big Beatles fan with the exception of a couple of exceptional songs, this was always one of them. Your sister sounds as if she was one of the heroes, I am sorry you lost her so early but glad you have some wonderful memories of her.

    Like

    • Thanks, Val. Judy always thought they wrote the song for her, and I agree. The fact that they didn’t know her, well, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t for her, now does it?

      Like

  33. Happy Birthday/Earthday to an inspirational person! I love the way you show us these glimpses of your past and let us into your heart.
    Jude surely knows that you are keeping her memory alive and well!

    Like

  34. I’m sorry for your loss. Judy must have been a wonderful person. Lovely tribute!

    Like

  35. Wish there were more people who shared your late sister’s attitude and passions. What a great tribute!

    Like

  36. I am sorry for the loss of your sister – I cannot imagine what that is like. From your description and loving tribute – I know I would have loved your sister, too. Happy Earth Day/Birthday, Jude.

    We are big recyclers here, and we have a water-saving showerhead (and a tiny water heater) which guests complain about – but water is a precious commodity and we take our consumption seriously.

    Like

    • Thanks Katy.

      We conserve water here without any trouble at all — we have a well and a pump that only permits the water to spit at us while in the shower. But not many folks realize how important the little things are — turning off the water when you’re brushing your teeth, put a bottle in the toilet tank to reduce the per-flush flow of water. Lots of little things.

      Some day not so far in the future, water will be the most valuable commodity on the planet. And that’s pretty scary.

      Like

  37. bigsheepcommunications

    She sounds remarkable – you must miss her like crazy!

    Like

  38. Kudos to Judy for her efforts in doing her part not only for the earth, but humanity. She sounds like she was very cool indeed! The video is classic.

    Like

  39. Hi,
    A lovely tribute to your Sister very nice.
    I haven’t heard this song for ages, and I’m listening to it as I type, it really is a wonderful song.

    Like

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