Today, July 31, is my sister’s birthday. Cathy would have been 74 years old today. Shortly after her death in 2002, I wrote a tribute which I gave to her new Methodist pastor who would be conducting her funeral. He had only known her for a couple of months, so I wanted him to have a better sense of who she was. Today, I will share it with all of you.
A Loving Tribute to My Sister, Cathy
Madelyn F. Young
My younger sister, Cathy, was a very loving wife, mother, grandmother, and sister, and she devoted many hours of her life to her family. However, Cathy had many other personal interests and talents.
Cathy’s career as a public-school art teacher in Louisiana, and later in Arkansas, was short-lived, but she continued using her artistic talents while working with preschool children in Kinder-Care for many years. She also enjoyed drawing and painting at home. Some of her original artwork now adorns the walls of her home, and mine too.
Another favorite pastime was reading. Cathy was always a strong supporter of her local public library. She enjoyed recommending authors to me, and she and I would share books back and forth. We often gave each other books as gifts for Christmas.
One of Cathy’s greatest accomplishments was her excellence in swimming. As a teen-ager, she participated on a swim team, and she also worked as a life guard during the summers. As an adult, her interest in swimming continued. Cathy was a member of the Y.M.C.A., and up until the onset of her illness, she would go the “Y” pool three or four times a week, swimming a mile or more in laps each time. She and her husband, Del, also enjoyed boating. While Del would fish, Cathy would plunge overboard into the water and swim. They spent many happy hours together on all the nearby lakes.
When I think of Cathy, I also think of her great love of cats. Growing up, we girls always had kittens and cats for pets. But Cathy continued to own and care for cats through all her adult years. Now, her little pet, Tiffy, will miss her greatly.
We are all very sad that Cathy’s earthly life has ended. But we also rejoice, knowing that she is now in a beautiful place free of pain and disease. I envision her completely surrounded by the glorious love of our Heavenly Father. I can see her laughing and talking and walking hand in hand with Mother and Dad.
The last time I spoke with Cathy was Monday night in the hospital, four days before she died. Later that evening, the doctors would begin giving her strong sedatives to keep her comfortable and asleep until her death. I was thankful we had some time to talk.
She told me how she had always admired me. I told her that she was the one whom I admired! She had been such a brave woman to accept the harsh treatments over and over again to fight the cancer. When it was time for me to go, I kissed her on the forehead and told her I loved her, but I did not tell her “Good-bye.” Instead, I merely said, “I’ll see you later.” Cathy understood. She nodded her head and smiled.