In Memory: Sandy Szostek DH'58

For Sandra Ruth Szostek.

To a sister I hardly knew. Born October 28, 1941, in Gary, Indiana, to Alex T. and Genevieve Szostek. I was born in April of 1945, your little sister, Diane. We certainly didn't have an ideal childhood, did we, Sandy? We were always the outsiders in a huge Polish Catholic family because our mother stubbornly kept us from being Catholic. Our first communion photos were never on Grandma Szostek's china cabinet, like our cousins. Then Mom and Dad started to fight, and Mom was always threatening to leave. Instead, Dad left, and went to Saudi Arabia in 1951, when I was 6 years old and you were 9. In 1952, Dad came home on a short leave and our parents were divorced. You and I went to Dhahran to live with Grandma and step-Grandfather Kratzmeyer, who also worked in Saudi Arabia.

I remember going to the Hobby Farm with you.  Sometimes Dad took us and dropped us off. Other times we took the Aramco bus. We had a very old and sad horse that we could never catch to bridle and saddle. The Arab men who lived and worked there had to do it for us. Then, you would never let me ride our horse. I played with the Salukis, instead. We shared a bedroom for a year, and then you were gone, sent to a boarding school in the States, the victim of something too terrible to remember here. How is it possible that the adults blamed you, and then left me to be our Grandfather's next victim?

We never lived together after that. In fact, we saw each other infrequently because we were never in the same place at the same time. I don't know if I ever told you I loved you. Is it too late to tell you I wish our lives had been different? I wish we had become friends and at least had each other to love instead of each of us being so alone in the world.

If God is good, we will have another chance to know and love each other in some future lifetimes. Until then, my pretty older sister, you will always remain in my heart and mind.

Diana Lynn, DH'60