Her nickname was "Rebel" (a contraction of her first and middle names), given to her by a friend as a teenager. She loved the name and it stuck and she waved her name like a banner throughout her life. A non-conformist, she lived her life as she saw fit, and never apologized for how she saw and dealt with the world.
She drank, she smoked, she loved cowboys and the country life.
She adored animals and always had dogs, cats, and birds in her house. She once nursed a sickly baby bluejay back to health in her backyard, and the bird lived for three years out there, never caged, guarding her property and terrorizing neighborhood cats.
She bred and raised Great Danes, acquiring championships and a name for herself within the dog breeding community and the dog show circuit.
She loved antiques and collectibles, and spent many hours rummaging through local flea markets, looking for a special piece, like a lamp, that she could fix up and re-sell at a profit.
Her early occupation was as a hairdresser, and did that for years. As her brother, she would cut my hair, and I never got any input as to how it was going to look. She knew best. Honestly, I was okay with that.
The last few years of her life were spent caring for a retired military General who needed homecare. He was the father of a friend. She found tremendous satisfaction in caring for "The General".
She was a "Nurturer".
As a kid, she opened my eyes to Rock and Roll. I first heard The Rolling Stones' "Sticky Fingers", the soundtrack to the movie "Woodstock", and the Original Broadway Cast recording of "Jesus Christ Superstar" by sneaking into her bedroom and playing her records when she was away. She was very fond of Elton John's "Madman Across The Water" album, with the single "Levon" on it. It became one of my favorites as well.
She was "cool". And, she made me want to be "cool" as well.
My mother had four children. Rebecca, me, and my younger twin sisters Leslie and Lisa. When the twins came, Mom got a little pre-occupied with keeping track of them, and had Rebecca watch over me. So, she really kind or raised me from when I was 4 until I was about 9. I called her "Beck".
Once, at the dinner table one night, my mother told me something. I turned to my sister and asked "Is that right, Beck?" As if I wasn't going to believe my mother until my big sister told me she was right.
My mother still tells that story.
Today, my family is holding a memorial service for her in Virginia, and I can't be there, so I thought I would post a little memorial of my own here.
Angus & Julia Stone "Mango Tree"
They're an Australian brother and sister that make music together. I think the third person in the video is their drummer. I like this song, and I'm thinking of my sister.
Take the picture.