A little history may need to be in order to explain the relevancy of the words, Vincent Sheik. As I was growing up in the small rural town of Oklahoma I called home, one of the beauties was the fact that most everyone knew everyone. This was also a curse at times, yet that is another story. Being the youngest in my family meant that I gave my older sister and brother grief at times for various reasons. My sister mainly because I was just young enough to be nothing more than a nuisance when I wanted to tag along with her and her friends . My brother because I always thought his friends were cute, well at least most of them.
One in particular caught my eye at a very early age. He was tall and had hair that was the color of ready to harvest wheat. His name… of course was Vincent Sheik. I knew at the ripe age of 7 that I wanted to marry that boy one day. Although at that age I don’t know if I knew exactly what that really meant. He was my brothers’ best friend and so he was a mainstay in our household. Although I was not sure if he ever even noticed me I was able to gaze upon him with those lovesick puppy eyes. As the years passed he grew even more in height and good looks. Yet life seemed to take us both into different directions and one hot day in 1980 as I watched him from the kitchen window of my brothers’ home working in the back yard with my brother, I realized that the dream I had as a 7 year old girl was probably not going to come true.
He had already married another and moved on with his life and I had been far too timid to have ever given him any inclination of my true feelings. So I bid him adieu yet always kept a tiny ember alive deep inside me as still I had that feeling that he was my true love. So when I hear his name spoken that day in my mother’s living room during the gathering for my sister’s funeral, it once more brought that ember alive so to speak although it had been almost 25 years since I had last laid eyes on him.
I rose from chair I had claimed as my sanctuary and proceeded to go to the front porch to see this man whom had held this tender piece of my heart for so long. He looked no different than last I saw him, although in truth he had aged by almost 25 years and put on a few pounds. He was talking to my brother when I arrived and as he turned to greet me, he grabbed me and hugged me like I do not think I had ever been hugged before. His tall 6 foot 5 stature embraced me and seemed to completely engulf me. I did not want the feeling to end. It took the grief that I had been feeling only moments before and completely seemed to make it dissipate to nothing. His smile shown down on me and wrapped me in a blanket that has not since been taken off of my shoulders.
He stayed for hours and visited. What others had tried so hard to do he managed to accomplish in a instant. He had finally gotten me to smile and to somehow shake a little of the heartache that had been looming about me. The next couple days were so much more tolerable because of his presence. From the moment we saw each other we became inseparable. I found myself feeling guilty somewhat because I was so happy at a time when I should be more remorseful. However as time passed I realized that in some way my sister had brought us together.
Vincent and I have been together ever since that day. We truly have been inseparable. The tiny little ember that was still alive deep within me is a blazing fire today. Those dreams that danced about in the heart and mind of that little 7 year old girl knew exactly what she wanted and what eventually she would have. The timing was just a bit off.
Each year at this time I stop and think about my sister Rosie and what she gave me before and what she still gives me today. I still miss her just as much as I did back then. I still keep her phone numbers on my cell phone although I know that if I were to call them that a totally different person would answer. I still talk to her as if she were with me still. And more than anything I still thank her for being my big sister and giving me the man I have always truly loved. One can find goodness even in one’s darkest hour. And although we do not always understand all the reasons that life takes the twists and turns that it does sometimes, there is an eventual outcome. Sometime what we see as the worst things to occur as time passes and we reflect back onto their memories we may look at them in a totally different perspective.
Yes, Rosie was a fighter. Yes, she loved life and those around her. Yet she was not without her share of trials and struggles. Her life was not always a happy one and she had endured much pain. She held it back well and covered it with the mask of smiles that we Morrison women wear so well. Yet deep inside, she carried some deep wounds. I like to think that she is in a happier place now. I am sure she wears a beautiful pair of wings that often wrap around others to shield and protect them from some of the harms that fell her way as a child as well as a woman. I have often felt sad as I do not feel that I sense her presence as much as I would like to. Yet as time has passed I have come to realize that the reason for this is probably because she knows I am ok. She gave me my gift when she departed. She gave me Vince to take care of me and watch over me in her absence. She is off taking care of those who do not have the blessing that I was given. She is taking care of those who are alone. She is someone else’s big sister, someone else’s angel.