Archive for October, 2015

My Sister

My Sister was always one to stand on higher moral ground. When we were young she sparkled in front of my eyes. She had a kind heart and a sweet smile. Clean blue eyes. She set the example of what a person should be like. She always seemed a step ahead to me in terms of maturity and responsibility. Like she was always ready for the next shoes that she would grow into. The first time I felt lost was when she first went to school and I stayed home. I ate toast after she left and used my imagination to pass the time until she came home. After school she’d ride the bus and tell me about what she did that day in class. It all sounded fun, exciting and scary. She blazed paths years before I was ready to think of them and made it look easy. I copied what she did when it came to what was fun and what was cool. She would set me straight when I would get an attitude or act in ways that make you no fun to be around. We watched movies every kid should watch and a lot that parents nowadays wouldn’t let us see. Along with my grandpa she was the first to stick up for me in front of anyone regardless of who they may be. And it never made me feel anything but protected, and proud. It made me feel like she was watching out for me, not because I couldn’t or wouldn’t ever be able to, but just until I was big enough to watch out or stick up for my own self. She wanted to show me how to do it. As we grew up we reached a breaking point where I could keep up with her when running or riding bikes. When we would push each other around or wrestle she started to not always be the stronger one. We had jokes. We conspired against my parents. She put up with me when I would break her sunglasses or not want to share. We sat at the Fischer Price record played and listened to Disco Duck, and The Sound of Music, and countless story books that we would flip through ahead of pace as the story was read along the record 45. She had pretty brown hair that was long like Crystal Gayle’s. We played PayDay and Memory and Operation. She was talented and tried hard. She got good grades and awards. We bought Trapper Keepers. We had to drive to Richmond to a paper store that’s long been closed because they sold bright colored paper and that was really popular. She twirled baton, sometimes in parking lots, sometimes in parades and competitions. We would go sometimes to all day competitions where tons of other girls her age and older would stand in front of judges and do a routine they had practiced a hundred times to see who could do it most perfectly. I’d sit there bored in my own personal space higher in the bleachers playing with whatever toys I could bring while Sousa marches and other pieces played on repeat. But I’d always wait and watch for when it was my sister’s turn. Sometimes she would do it perfectly. Sometimes she might miss and drop her baton. But she always deserved 1st place. We read books and sang songs. We went to camp and stuck by me because I cried. We went to family reunions and stuck by me because I didn’t know all these people and these other kids. We would eat dinner and move into our rocking chairs in front the TV. Hers was big. Mine was my dad’s when he was a kid. We’d eat fudgsicles and watch The Dukes of Hazard. We spent the night at my grandparents and ate ice cream. We spent the night at my other grandparents and ate ice. She sang in the church choir and liked it. We went to Delaware on a train without our parents to put on a church play and stayed with people we didn’t know. We rode around with other kids and chaperones and saw their big fancy church. We watched Arachnophobia the day we left and I was scared of spiders for a while. We got older and she said I should part my hair. We got bigger bikes. She got more friends. When she got older she was a cheerleader. And cross country runner. And hurdler. A couple of times I came over to the high school from the middle school at the end of the day and went to track practice with her. She was friends with all the high school coaches everyone saw in the newspaper. She was an institution. She taught me about weird science things I had never heard of. She learned Spanish and had to cook Hispanic food and made a piñata. We had matching LL Bean backpacks and rolled our jeans up at the bottom. Her hair was half as long but it took her over twice as long to get ready. She dated a boy who was real nice to me and became my friend too. They did some things together but took me with them all the time. It was so much fun. And soon we all grew up. Time moved faster. As a kid if I had a hundred thoughts a minute I now had a thousand. Sometimes it would be tomorrow already. My jump rope partner and hula hoop partner teacher was now my chauffer and guardian. Now she’s a parent to two boys. She’s a wife and one day might be a grandmother. She’s a coworker to my wife but still an example in a lot of ways. She still sparkles. She’s always busy. Always in a hurry. But still the same. She still has her blue eyes that shine with kindness. Her hair’s shorter. And a little thinner. And it will probably get a little thinner and eventually be gone. For a while. But then it might just come back. It might come back thicker, thinner or even a different color. But she’ll be the same until the end. My sister. With her kind heart and sweet smile.

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