Ellen-Marie Ray, March 23, 1949 – September 25, 2001

23 Mar

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Months after my sister, Ellen-Marie, died of a  heart attack, some of her friends and family members  received pre-programmed birthday wishes from her via email.  It was creepy at first,  then it was funny.  Ellen-Marie  never forgot a birthday  — even from the Great Beyond!
She would have laughed too. Probably still is. She had a sick sense of humor. One of her favorite movies was Harold and Maude.
Searching through a box of old correspondence, I was blown away by the number of cards and letters we exchanged, especially during the 70s and 80s, before there was such a thing as email. I’ve got a pile of  letters filled with commentary on men, movies and more. Most of the letters  are not appropriate for reprint.  For one thing, it requires a well-trained eye and years of practice to decipher her handwriting. Secondly, much of the content would have to be redacted to protect the innocent and the guilty.
Ellen-Marie would be 62 today. To celebrate she would  likely have yellow cake with chocolate frosting. She would  be proud of every candle. She’d  take her daughter and son Kamaya and Jeremy, out for Brazilian food. She might listen to  Smokey Robinson or  watch ET or Jeopardy! or Law and Order. On the weekend, she would look for a dance party. She would be surrounded by friends from every walk of life.
She was a super mom, a dedicated attorney and my best friend.

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4 Responses to “Ellen-Marie Ray, March 23, 1949 – September 25, 2001”

  1. Bonnie Sashin March 26, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    Elaine,
    I remember your sister and the shock of her sudden passing. What a beautiful tribute to a lovely lady!

  2. Julian Williams March 23, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

    Elaine,
    Your tribute to Ellen Marie is so touching. Thank you for sharing it. We all miss her very much.
    -Your cousin,
    Julian

  3. Cheryl March 23, 2011 at 7:52 am #

    What a lovely tribute. She is loved.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Telling it like it is « My Father's Posts - August 8, 2011

    [...] Stern Grove yesterday, I was taken back to being 11 or 12 years old when  my sister Ellen-Marie asked me to pick up Neville’s first hit, “Tell it Like it Is,” from the [...]

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