Today would have been Jule Lynn (Harrison) Egleston’s 67th birthday. She died April 17, 2018 of pancreatic cancer. Here’s the last picture I have of us together. It was taken at my birthday party last year, barely more than a month before she died.
When my sweet sister was a little girl, her bedroom was next to mine. She played her two favorite records endlessly: “Yipes, Yipes, I’ve Lost My Yellow Stripes!” and “Yah, Yah, Your Carrots Won’t Come Up.” They used to drive me nuts. Now I would give anything to hear them again, if she was the one playing them.
The first children’s story I sold, the one that paid me $5.07, was titled, “Jule Learns to Ride.” I think she liked it when I chose to use her name as my heroine.
Rest well, little sister. I love you always.
Dear Sweet Sister Jule Egleston,
You left us too soon.
With a brother’s love,
I visited with my sister Jule Egleston last week. She said this was her all-time favorite picture. Mine too. I’m sorry I can’t produce a clearer image for you.
Yesterday my sister died of complications from pancreatic cancer. She endured chemo treatments every other week for a year and a half and somehow kept her faith, courage, and wonderful sense of humor throughout her struggle. Her son Jon was beside her holding her hand when the end came.
When Jule was little, her bedroom was next to mine. I was in college, often up late cramming for an exam. Jule’s room resounded with records: “Yipes! Yipes! I’ve lost my yellow stripes!” “Yeah, yeah, your carrots won’t come up!” played at 97 decibels. I remember being a big brother on a few of those occasions. When I was buying cocoons of exotic moths such as Attacus edwardsii, the gigantic moths would emerge and fly around my room before I got home from classes. When Jule opened my door and went in to watch them in awe, I was once again a big brother.
By the time Jule was seven, Sandy and I were married and left her to finish growing up on her own. Our lives took us in different directions. But wherever she was and whatever she was doing, Jule was always my baby sister.
Now she is gone. It will take a while to adjust to not having a kid sister.
My sweet sister came into this world with twinkling eyes and endearing smile. She will forever be like that in my heart.
Here is my offering for April. The word is GIRLS.
A Little Girl Is . . .
Brother’s brat –
But he’s a boy.
Pa’s sugar pie,
Brother’s pest –
But he’s a guy.
Brother’s snot –
But he eats boogers.
But don’t try anything
He’s her brother!
She’s his sister!”
(c) David L. Harrison
First time I met Jule she was a baby and I was fifteen. When I held her, I was completely charmed. When she went to sleep in my arms, the deal was sealed. I knew for sure and certain that she was my sister.
Today Jule Egleston is a mother and grandmother, and my sister. She is business manager for the Monett Times in Monett, Missouri. I’m proud of her in the way that big brothers are allowed to be. She’s also fighting pancreatic cancer. This week she spent six hours taking her second of six 6-hour sessions of chemotherapy. The first one made her sick. We’re hoping she gets along better this time.
My sister is a brave soul. I believe she will whip this thing. But even brave souls can use a little support. If you pray, I ask you to pray for her. If not, then please keep her in your thoughts. Either way, I thank you.