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Ode to My Sister

My sister and I have always had a love/hate/love relationship. ‘Hope’s the Pope who smokes dope’, I would taunt. ‘Emily FAAAG’, she would cleverly reply. On more than one occasion she tried to convince me I was adopted, and I have oodles of scars on my arms from her razor sharp finger nails. Many a tantrum was thrown in our childhood home…stomping feet, slamming doors, narrowed eyes and curled lips.  There was the time I refused to unlock the front door to let her in and she refused to walk around to the unlocked back door. The time when I was driving her crazy making obnoxious sounds with the vacuum cleaner wand…until she kicked it and chipped my tooth. Of course she got in trouble, because I was miss perfect. Over the years we ripped each other’s posters, stole each other’s clothes, and annoyed each other’s friend to no end. Our parents gave up being referee and eventually told us to work things out on our own…perhaps not the fairest trade, since we could both be pretty mean when we wanted.

 When Hope was 16 and put Dad’s new (to him) truck with its fresh paint job in the ditch (by way of broken barbed wire fence) I thought for sure she was a gonner. Not unlike little Randy, I thought Dad was gonna KILL Hope. And I think I even cried a little on the steps, waiting for them to come back home from picking her up. I guess deep down, even then, I knew I loved my sister.

There are so many good times alongside my sister. Granted, most of them came later in life, as we matured and realized that having a sister was something precious, but I feel lucky for having grown up with one.  Having my sister help me plan my wedding, stand up next to me as I committed myself to my high school sweetheart, watching her stand on her own two feet and fight for the relationship she really wanted and then standing next to her as she committed herself to her high school sweetheart, grieving together as we lost our Grandfathers and witnessed our parents’ hearts break, preparing for the birth of her first child and all the joy we shared once she finally arrived, feeling her firm hand on my shoulder as we wept in the emergency room the day of Matt’s stoke, not knowing what the future held, witnessing the birth of her second child and the pride I felt at his new name, traveling together to move our parents from state to state and spending one very special Father’s Day together just the four of us, snorkeling in Hawaii, Bon Jovi (TWICE!) …the list goes on and on.

We haven’t always been super close – our personalities may be polar opposites in many ways, but still…she is my sister. My one and only. And these past several weeks, when I’ve been so sad, I know her heart is aching too. She’s been helpless to fix anything for me, but I hope she knows how much I love her. 

 One thing I do remember, vividly as a child…singing ‘Black Water’ in the back seat of the Mazda station wagon as we road tripped somewhere as a family.  Often times we were sandwiched in the back seat together, forced to listen to the 70’s rock our parents enjoyed.  But every once in a while, a song came along that we loved and we would pretend to play instruments and sing together.  ‘Black Water’ was one of my favorites…’pretty mama come and take me by the hand’… and to this day when I hear it, I think of you, Hope…and I smile. 
Here's to my sister...Black Water - Doobie Brothers


Emily said…
You're lucky to have each other! I feel kinda bad for men, because as much as brotherhood means, I don't think it comes close to sisterhood. I love the pictures of you two together!
Matt and Emily said…
It's true...there is something about sisters. Yeah, we were prety cute! :)

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