When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother what will I be
Will I be pretty
Will I be rich
Here's what she said to me
Que sera sera
Whatever will be will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera sera
---Sly & The Family Stone
Whenever I play this soulful, evocative song, sometimes over and over, again and again, I’m reminded of her. Let’s just say she was much more like Sly Stone than Doris Day.
She was the brilliant one. The confident one. The brazen one who went on an equestrian exchange program to Bogata, Colombia when she was 14 years old.
At Berkeley, she majored in Rhetoric. Then she went to Harvard Law School. Those were her best years, the law school years. She had a great boyfriend, jogged along the Charles River. The future was hers, all bright and shiny. Actually, it practically glittered.
She was complicated and mercurial. One minute she was my best friend and seconds later, she’d turn on me. My head would spin. She was damaged, like the characters in the late Josephine Hart’s book, Damage.
She read voraciously to keep her restless mind fed. The Good Solider, Waiting For The Barbarians, Lolita, Catcher In The Rye.
Work, ambition, promotions, money, designer clothes, friends, dinner parties, envy, break-ups, Range Rovers, Manhattan, Paris, Los Angeles. What a glamorous life she lived.
As sometimes happens, it only looked fabulous. In reality, she fought hard to keep it together. Until she couldn’t anymore.
I got the call that she’d died during a Halloween party I hosted for my 3 year-old daughter. It was a voice mail from a friend saying they’d found her at her hillside home dead on the floor. She was 38. My son was 3 months old. She never met him, but he resembles her and definitely shares some of her best personality traits.
She was the masterful one. She was my sister.
I’m not ready to write about what happened. Yet.
Que Sera Sera.
Me (left) and My Sister (right)