Farewell, my sister

Claire - By Gabrielle Clark. Twin sister of Claire, little sister of Michelle and me.

Generous, big hearted, loyal and loving.

Born two minutes after me, I never let Claire forget I was the big sister.

As little girls, known as “the twins” we were told apart by wearing a ‘C’ for Claire and a ‘G’ for Gabrielle on our jumpers. We looked alike and sounded the same. Dad even put large orange homemade C and G stickers on our Rosebank stack hats.

As toddlers, we shared our own “twinny” language that no one else understood.
I remember Michelle and Lisa putting us in separate rooms to test our “Twin ESP” – they’d tickle one of our feet and the other’s toes would curl up. We never lost that connection.

We grew up riding horses, building stuff with Dad and riding bikes. We started with our matching BMXs and later had matching racing bikes. We still had our C and G Stackhats and to our disappointment, Dad added orange reflective safety flags. Fortunately they broke not long after.

We were outdoors kids, spending hours out on the horses, stunt riding, racing each other, making cross country jumps and riding to the Haddon Common to meet friends; coming home just before dark. We’d play a jousting game –with long cardboard tubes, from one end of the paddock each, we’d gallop towards each other seeing who could hit the other the hardest and we’d play until the cardboard fell apart.

My friends were Claire’s friends and hers mine. These friends witnessed many arguments – when Claire thought that Robyn and I’d had the horses too long and Claire, Dearne or Jade were sick of following on the bikes. But these arguments were over as quickly as they started – we never stayed cross for long.

Claire was gifted with animals, her favourite was her dog Buster – named after the little girl Buster from the mini series “The Shiralee”. Buster and Claire had a special bond, Buster would not listen to me but Claire had taught her to jump the metre and a half over the tail gate out of the horse float, and she was always by Claire’s side.

The closest Claire and I came to getting into school yard fights, was defending each other. God help anyone who crossed me or hurt me, they’d have Claire to deal with. I will always remember Claire’s fierce loyalty to those she loved.

We shared a love of Movies and TV; Claire could remember lines from our childhood favourites:

The Shiralee – “Eat ya flakes!”
Overboard – “I feel like a bushman
Roxanne – “Earn more sessions by sleeving!”

Claire, it is your fantastic sense of humour, your ability to tell a joke so well, you could crack me up over an everyday situation. You made everyone around you fill with laughter.

A few weeks ago you teased me about only having four songs on my iPhone. You said “Don’t you like any other music?” You were the musical one; you loved enough music for the both of us.

Claire could play a song on her keyboard without the written music - just by hearing it. She’d play for hours at Nana and Max’s until Nana would ask her stop.  She could also tune or program any TV, VCR or DVD player. She’d edited and made DVDs of old home movies that Max recorded when we were toddlers.

I’m so grateful to have these memories, but I’d swap them all to have you back.

Claire, I hope I’ve honoured the life you lived. I’ll remember that you were the most generous person I’ve ever known, that you were so proud of everything I ever did and were the first person lining up to help and support me. I’m proud to be your twin sister; I’ll never forget you and I’ll love you forever.

Gabrielle Clark, October 2012


K.Line said…
What a beautiful tribute and what a beautiful photo. I'm thinking of you, Lisa. xoxo
Petunia said…
Words written from the heart and with much love. Thinking of you all xxx
jazzygal said…
Heartbreaking but a loving tribute to a wonderful person. I get a real sense of Claire from Gabrielle's piece. Thinking of all of you.

((xx)) Jazzy
Andra said…
It's evident that your sister was much loved and loved everyone back in equal measure. Wonderful tribute. Am thinking of you and your family lisa xxx
Beautiful and heartbreaking too xx