Robert M. Katzman’s Amazing Story: http://www.differentslants.com/?p=355
© June 11, 2012
The thing about extraordinary experiences is that you’re never ready for them.
You forget what came just before, then the moment itself, and then what happened next, and you stand there stunned, caught up in the swirl of unearthly phenomena.
My older sister, Bonnie Sue Katzman died today, two years ago, at age 62, from blood cancer.
She was married to a good person named Chelin for a long time, and then another person, but I prefer to remember what her name was when I first met her in 1950 when she was two and a half.
We both came from a terrifyingly dangerous home where her solution was to disappear into the homes of her many friends and mine, well…I had no solution and suffered the consequences. We had no relationship. I never saw her.
I left home in the middle of the night on June 8, 1964 at fourteen while still in eighth grade on the South Side of Chicago and she was sixteen and a sophomore at Bowen High School. I moved five miles north to Hyde Park and two years later she went to The University of Illinois at Urbana. Now we were both free of the person who cursed our lives, but still, I never saw her.
Except for occasional family holiday parties, there were no calls, no contact, although I did send her birthday cards every October 22nd. I’d go to her home for Passover and the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, but she’d never greet me, hug me, talk to me while I was there or say goodbye when I left.
This all was incomprehensible to me and over time, my resentment to her indifference grew stronger. Our father maintained an illusion that we were actually a “family” and the year I finally decided I’d had enough of being made to feel inconsequential and refused to go to one of those semi-annual parties at her house, he called me to change my mind. He pleaded, threatened, yelled at me and when he realized he had no power to make me do as he so fervently wanted, broke down in tears.
I, of course, then felt like a dog.
(Read on …)