following my sister

Visiting my sister this week…love her.  We are 10 years apart, she being younger.  She is a poet.  With her being younger, we didn’t really grow UP together…i left home for college when she was 8.  When she was in her teens, we had a dumb argument and didn’t talk for years…absolutely years.  And then 10 years ago, a crisis ended that behavior and i was at her side.  It was awkward.  I wanted to offer comfort, to help, to lead…but how could I pretend to be dependable when i hadn’t been in her life for so long?  I ended up leaving a journal on her coffeetable with one of my favorite pens.  I had written on the first page, that I wanted to be in her life, that I wanted her in mine, and in my daughters’ lives, but would respect whatever she chose.

A week went by, two…then a long letter arrived…it was wonderful.  I wrote back, sending her a CD of my favorite music with a detailed annotated list of why each song was special.  She wrote back and in turn, sent me a tape of her favorites, with a rambling narrative of wisp of memories associated with each song.  This continued for a few more letters and then we began calling…long 2 hour calls.  Finding another human being in the world who shared my birth origins, who understood my fears, shared some of my strange dreams and recollections.  And then realized we both liked french fries with mayo instead of ketchup, neither of us liked heels, and each of us had fond memories of Winnie the Pooh.  It amazed me.

A few years ago she called me as she was following the life flight helicopter that was taking her 5 month old son to Minneapolis.  We spent a month at Childrens’ Hospital together, as they worked to decode Judd’s symptoms.  Crossword puzzles, hours and hours of late night conversation, learning medical terms, eavesdropping on ‘report’ as shifts changed, and researching endless lists of maladies on WebMD…we slowly worked our way thru the month.  She and her husband, Jim, my daughter, Nina and I became a tight knit team.  We took shifts at the hospital, ensuring that Judd was never left alone.  After 5 weeks, Judd was released with a monitor and medication…we breathed relief, even tho there were challenges ahead.

I have followed her up hills, and thru valleys since, stood on mountain tops celebrating, still breathing hard from the climb…treasuring the time, the emails and just the plain fact that there is another human being on this planet that is the other half of my soul.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joan
    Jun 26, 2011 @ 21:16:30

    I have often wished for a sister over the years no more so than this last one.
    I have found many who are sisters from another mother, whom I love dearly. One which is Pat Lindemann. Love you Joan


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