From the February 2013 magazine.

February 2013: Two Sisters

A sibling’s emergency becomes a powerful reminder of why we don’t pick up

In February 2006, I got a phone call: “Aunt Pooh, this is Deanna. Call me as soon as you get this message.” These are the unforgettable words that I heard that Thursday night when I returned from walking my dogs, Kevin and Bazzle. I immediately returned the phone call to my niece, whom I hadn’t spoken to in several years. I did not know how bad the news would be, but I already knew in my heart that my sister, Julia, was in trouble, because she’s an alcoholic. She has been an alcoholic for most of her life, as have I.

Deanna answered the phone and told me that her mom had fallen and was in serious condition in the hospital. I was reluctant to ask; finally, equally reluctantly, she said, “Aunt Pooh, it’s because of her alcoholism.” 

-- Anonymous

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