When my oldest sister passed away in January, family and friends were and remain shocked that cancer could claim her only weeks after the initial diagnosis.
She had a commanding presence which in turn has meant that a significant void is felt by many.
My siblings and I hosted a February tribute for Robin in the home where we all grew up- a final gathering of family and friends before our family house was sold.
But my sister also has a West Coast family...friends that she had made since moving to California over 3o years ago.
When my sisters, brother and I traveled to San Francisco to be with Robin in January, we were wonderfully overwhelmed and impressed by the constant flow of friends through her room.
The doctors and nurses at San Francisco General Hospital told us that they had never seen so many people in supportive attendance for any patient.
My sister had built a family of friends who are beautiful, kind, thoughtful and so loving.
They adore Robin, and my siblings and I have come to love these fabulous friends of my oldest sister.
This past weekend we hosted a San Francisco memorial to honor my sister's life, allowing her many friends to gather and share memories just days before her birthday, because she did love her birthday.
Theatre was my sister's passion, and part of her professional career was spent working at Marines' Memorial Theatre where we were generously allowed to host the memorial.
My sister was known for her pearls.
She usually wore pearls.....multiple strands of pearls at varying lengths.
They were her trademark.
My sister was also known to have a wee bit of an opinion on those topics that mattered to her....especially anything concerning theatre and entertainment, politics and sports.
Some of her typical commentary remarks were also trademarks.
In her honor, we provided 'Robin's Pearls of Wisdom'....hundreds of pearl necklaces, each with an attached quote that she was known to deliver with her typical passionate conviction.
Everyone in attendance at the memorial was bedecked with pearls.
One dear friend of Robin's provided beautiful flowers, her favorite....hydrangea, and compiled a wonderful video of images set to music that she loved.
Tears and laughter filled the theatre as we watched the images that told the story of Robin's life...a life filled with family and friends, smiles and usually a glass of Chardonnay.
To be as loved as my sister was by so many people would be a wonderful thing.