My sister is visiting me.
This means many things: there will be lots of love, frustration, and tears; There will be silliness. It also perfectly accentuates the changes in our lives over the last 28 years.
I’m sure it does, but what do you mean, Debbie?
WAY before I was conceived – let alone born – my sister begged for a little sister. A “Sissy.” For birthdays, holidays, shooting-star-wishes… I was it. For years. More than a decade of wishes and prayers. So I was born to be loved and cherished by more than just my parents. I was hers. And she cried.
Then she moved half way across the country for college. And I cried. I accused her of leaving me. I hated every time she left. I hated every day I didn’t see her. And since this was before technology had become commonplace among the common people, all I could do was write her. She wrote me. She came home to visit and we’d sleep in the same bed trying to get every minute out of our time together. I’d watch her plane take off at the airport (back when you could sit at the gate without a boarding pass – ahh, the good ol’ days) and secretly hope she had gotten off and was staying.
Then, when she graduated college, she stayed halfway across the country. And I cried.
We hated it. My parents and I. She was too far away. I felt betrayed. She chose to stay away from me?! I continued to visit and she continued to come home periodically, but it wasn’t the same. I was growing up without her and I always felt I was growing away from her – which is WAY worse.
A few years later, she finally did what we had been begging for for years (which now sounds very full circle) and moved back home. Well, not home home, but back to the area. And I cried. We finally got to spend more time together, but things weren’t the same. I wasn’t her baby doll anymore. I was a “sullen” teenager. I no longer wanted to be coveted or told what to do or where to go. I wanted a sister and what I felt I had now was a third parent. I now know that, due to our physical distance up to that point, she had a hard time seeing me as a 16 year old and I had a hard time accepting that. We had a rough time figuring out where we fit in each others lives.
It didn’t take very long to fix. She became my place to go. My person to go to. My escape. Most importantly: she re-became my friend. My best friend.
Then she got engaged. And I cried. I was so happy for her. I was so sad for me. I had already felt like I was being replaced by Chris, but this made it real. Final. She was going to focus on him. Not me. I’m selfish. I admit this.
Then she asked me to be her maid of honor. And I cried. I even tried to talk her out of it. Me as maid of honor, not her impending nuptials. I was sure there were friends of both of them who knew them better – who were older and more grown up – who would have been a better choice for maid of honor. She assured me that she only wanted her best friend.
Then she gave birth to my nephew, Brandon. She reprised (the red squiggle says this is not a word…how is this not a word?!) her role of mother which I had forced her to stop playing toward me when I was 16. She was just as perfect for the part as she always had been.
Five months later I moved to Florida. And I cried. This time I was leaving her. I was abandoning her. I chose to be away from her. Note: I didn’t actually CHOOSE to be away from her. She wasn’t a factor in my going. She was, is, and always will be a factor in my staying/going back. I visit once or twice a year. I spend time with her. I talk to her. We text, we talk, we email, we facebook…but things are different again.
She’s a parent of two now, with a full time job and a full time volunteer position. I’m a late 20s single girl (with a wonderful dog) with one full time job and one minimally-time-consuming volunteer position.
And now, 4.5 years later, she’s coming to visit me.
It feels like another page in our ever changing scope of best-friendship. She’s coming to me. We are spending 3.5 days of “sissy time” together. No kids. No family members to distract us. No work. Just my sister and me being sisters – whatever that means for us these days. And we’ll eat, drink, go out, stay in, sleep in the same bed and then she’ll leave and we’ll both be better for it. And we’ll cry.
What the future holds for our friendship is to be determined. Maybe I’ll have kids of my own and we’ll bond over that. Maybe we’ll live in the same area again one day and see each other all the time. Maybe we’ll talk less often as one or both of us becomes even more busy.
Whatever the future holds, at least it holds my sister.