How Did I Get Here, And Where Is The Next Turn?

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Brought up Apr 6, 2013

My Sister

Today is my sister's birthday. She turns 39. It doesn't seem possible that she should be that old at times. At others, it feels like a much longer time has passed.

I remember the day she was born. We knew, of course, that she was coming, though it was one of those things, then, that we didn't talk much about. Sort of a sore subject for my mom. See, I was 11, my brother 4 years younger, and she thought her baby rearing days were over. I remember her crying when she found out she was pregnant. Mom got past the shock, but I don't remember much scurrying to get things ready for the day. I do remember watching the new crib being put together, the 'bumper pads' mom picked out. I remember my mom being thrilled at the invention of disposable diapers since my brother's baby years.

I remember the day, though. My brother and I were dropped off to stay with my stepfather's sister and her family. there were no cell phones, no constant updates. Just waiting.

My brother and I were debating, boy or girl? I wanted a sister. After all, I had a brother, an obnoxious, meddlesome creature who delighted in scaring me in the dark. The rotten snot would cut up my Honeycomb Monkees Records and hide the pieces in the bottom of my closet. He would wait until I was straddling the electric fence we had, and switch it on. On many occasions, I wondered what would happen if I led him off into the woods and left him.

My brother, on the other hand, wanted a boy. He wanted a little brother with whom he could get into mischief. All I could think of was another boy would just give him help tormenting me. Don't get me wrong. I did my share of retaliating. Yet, another boy would seal my doom. I pictured the two of them, and cringed. I wouldn't live to see high school!! I loved the pain in the tail, but he was a terror. No, I wanted a sister.

When daddy, as I had called him until my adult years, came back, we were excited. I would love the baby, no matter what it was. He told us it was a girl. I remember jumping up and down, so happy. My brother's reaction? "Can we trade her for a goat?"

39 years. A lot of water has passed under that bridge. It has been a time of laughter and tears, fun and sorrow, heart warming and heart breaking.

Today, as I think of all that has gone by, and all the things we shared, and missed, together, I realize how much I still adore my sister. She was my living doll for a time, then my toddling side kick. Today, though we have our differences, I still see her smile, and my heart melts.

She has one grown child, and two almost grown, one who turned 17 today as well, and one we lost to SIDS many years ago. She is one tough customer that no one screws with lightly. I still see that golden haired imp with no front teeth, hear her giggle at what ever mischief she was about. She will always be my baby sister.

My brother? Well, there have many times through these years when he has said, "At least we could have eaten the goat!"

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