Sunday, August 11, 2013

"Little Sister" Part II

Finally the day came!  My little sibling was ready to be born!  We were ready too.  Couldn't wait to meet him or her..... Mom and Daddy went off to the Hospital and I spent the bulk of the day waiting with our good friend Mrs. L.   I don't remember exactly how long a wait there was, but it seemed like days!!

Daddy promised to call when there was news and he did!  WE HAD A NEW BABY!  Mom was okay and baby was okay and oh, by the way, I had a new little.......SISTER!!!   YAY!   I was dancing and yelling and jumping up and down.  My very own little sister, Debra Ann, had arrived.

I'm sorry to say I don't remember when I first saw her or got to hold her.  I know mom and the baby were in the Hospital for a couple of days, which was pretty standard.  I know Daddy took me to the hospital to peek into the nursery and there she was.  A little blonde-headed, blue-eyed, cutie who looked exactly like....nobody!  I was disappointed, I wanted a little carbon-copy of me.  She didn't look like me, or mom, or daddy!  At a couple of days old, to me she just looked like all the other babies in the world!  I didn't realize until I was actually able to hold her when she came home, that it takes a bit of one on one time to begin to see beyond the "baby-dom" and begin to see the little person.

As soon as I held her I fell head over heels in love with this precious bundle!  As I recall she didn't cry much and was a pretty happy baby mostly.  After that first couple of days when she still looked kind of squished and red and a little on the skinny side like all newborns, all of a sudden she blossomed and she was gorgeous!! Really!

I was fascinated by this little miracle.  It was like a training school for how to take care of a baby.  I watched and learned and was little like a second mom.  I loved to hold her and sing to her.  She would let me hold her for along time in the rocker on the back porch as long as I was singing.  I think it was probably our best bonding time.

As she got a little older she really was an adorable little girl, her pretty blond hair like a cloud of gold around her face.  She began to become her own person and I spent a lot of time with her.  I played with her and helped her and read to her and she would stick to me like glue, following me around whatever I was doing.

But the reality is that she was 12 years younger than I.  That's a pretty big gap.  As she started school, I was already in college!  She was in 2nd grade when I got married, so we never had the true sister to sister experiences of growing up together.  She was a part of my life, but before long I had a baby of my own and a life separate from hers.

Her life experiences were so different than mine, other than having the same parents, we had very few similarities in our childhoods.  She grew up in the urban environment of a big city, I was a small town girl.  She lived in one place from age 6 or 7 until she was finished with college and got married.  I moved more times than I could count and lived in multiple different towns.  She went to Catholic school all the way through high school.  I was in public schools from 7th grade on.  She went away to college and I went to a "commuter" school.  She chose a profession (Pharmacist) and stayed in school through a five year degree program.  I never finished college.  I was married at age 19 and a mother at age 20.  She married after college and didn't have kids until she was about 26 (I think, its hard to remember exactly.)   I've been married forever, she is now divorced.

Our personalities are different too.  She will avoid conflict whenever possible, I am confrontational.  I liked the pink cats, she like the blue but wouldn't SAY so!  (This is an inside joke just for Little Sis!)  I have rarely seen her angry, I am angry half the time!  She has a wicked sense of humor that pops out at just the right moment.  A lot of people don't even know when I am joking!  However, she always gets my jokes and she can make me laugh at the drop of a hat. I tend to want to talk everything to death, while she holds things in and doesn't go in for long conversations exploring her feelings or experiences.

She came home from college to see me in a show!
Circa 1980

When she first went away to college, I began to see what a great person she was as an adult.  I knew that we were on our way to being best friends forever!   I have always been extremely proud of her, she is a good person, a loving sister, a great caregiver, and a person I like very much.

But our lives continued to take us in different directions.  She and her family moved to Phoenix, then the Big Guy and I moved to California and then to Texas.  Although we talked on the phone frequently, we wouldn't actually see each other for years at a time.  Even now we see each other only sporadically.  It's been a year and a half since the last time we were together.  Her kids are grown, close to fully achieving their career goals and it looks very much as if they will settle in Colorado and Washington.  Once they are set, I'm pretty sure my little sis will head to one of those states permanently.  It's what parents do these days.  So yet again, we are doomed to be in different places.  These days, emails and Facebook are our main mode of communication.

Little Sis and her children, Matthew and Christina

Tomorrow my "Little Sister" will reach her 55th birthday. It's hard to think of my baby sister being that age. (But then it's hard to think of being MY age!)  Despite all our differences, we still are alike in many other ways, But our lives have been different.  We have different interests, different experiences, and different desires.  Those 12 years have never become completely irrelevant.  I struggled with bridging the gap.  I always wanted to be best friends forever but the years and the paths we took never quite allowed that to happen in the way that I wanted.

I realize though, that being best friends forever has never really  been a realistic goal.  We both have several great friends, a couple of which are even considered to be "best friends."  The reality is that we each only have one sister.  She is the only person who has known me all of her life,  the only person who loves me as unconditionally as only a sister can, the only person who shares our family history, and the only person who understands what that means.  She's my Little Sis and I will love her and be grateful for her and for everything she has brought to my existence all the days of her life.  I miss her and wish we were able to enjoy each other's company more often, but I know that we share a mutual admiration, pride, love, and caring unlike any other relationship in our lives.  She's my Lil' Sis and I am her Big Sis and nobody could ever change that.  A best friend forever??  Nah, she is something far better, she is my SISTER.

Photo: My big sis took very good care of me.  :)
My poor wounded Lil Sis!
She's been dealing with that broken wrist for nearly two years!!!

Happy Birthday Deb!  I hope you have as wonderful day as you deserve!!  Wish I was there to sing you Happy Birthday in person!


  1. Gee - now you make ME want a sibling! Can I have one?? Can I, can I, huh?? Pretty please mom???!!??

    1. Uhhh, that would be an "I don't THINK so!" Sheesh, talk about impossible dreams.....


  2. Yep, you made me cry. I love you too Sis. And don't worry, I hear you singing. Always will. And that always makes me smile.
    R--Let me know how that turns out with the sibling request. lol.

  3. Sisters are usually the longest and best relationships you have in life. I treasure mine also.

    Beautifully done and I can see from the comment above that your sister loved it.

  4. It's equally wonderful having an older brother. Though the states and miles separate us, we still have a bond that only brothers (or sisters) can have.
    This was beautifully written, Mel. By using the right words, you were able to convey the love you have for your sis. Hats off to you both!


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