To My Little Sister

Lynda and Carlieta_0001Dear Sister:

What have you been to me?

A baby who disrupted excruciatingly long road trips to visit family in Indiana.

A bratty three-year-old who manifested all of the behavior of a child born late in a troubled marriage.

An alien pre-adolescent who lived with and in the shadow of my mother and so sometimes attracted the undeserved bad feelings that spilled over from that relationship.

A teenager who deserved more insight than I had to give at the time but who had my love but then moved across country and out of my realm.

A lovely young woman who re-appeared into the self-absorption of my own parenting years.

Did we really have the same childhood? the same parents? even the same family? Not really…

Eight years was a chasm. Mom and Dad’s divorce set us on widely diverse paths with such different experiences that we still stand on opposite sides of most memories. Such is the outcome of a family life broken into segments by years and miles and dissension.

But our relationship bears testimony to reunion.  We know that shards and splinters of early damage can be repaired by love and understanding when we focus on the ties that we share; even if sometimes we need tears to wash away the anger and pain of those experiences.

When you came bearing an unknown husband, adorable children, good memories and stories of a life I had not shared, we began our life as adults in a common realm. The fragments of our early years melded  together as we became sisters and friends again.

It’s hard for me to remember the early years of separation. I have to dredge up past times and gather bits and pieces that don’t always fit into a clear picture. But is that really important? What matters to me are the decades of closeness we have shared. You have been my rock and I hope that I have been a steady support to you. We have lived through joyous events: births, marriages, sister trips… And we have shared the sorrows of illness, death and loss.

So then, what have you been to me?

Everything I could have wished for in a sister. The anticipation of our coming years is as rich as and my memories of our past.





  1. Beautiful. I relate.

    My only sister is 6 years younger than I am and before her, there are two brothers. We too came from a dysfunctional family and the sister had to bear the longest of the staying there till she got married. She had to return twice to deliver her two children, as is the practice in our culture, but other than that, she too had little to with that home, after our mother walked out of it after her second child was born and she returned to her husband’s home.

    For the three of us, she has been the apple of our eyes and there are stories that we can each tell about our memories with her that could perhaps form a novel!


  2. As always you have such a way with words. You expressed all that you wrote so accurately. You have been such an important person and sister in my life. Even when I’m quiet and don’t communicate for awhile, you are always present in my heart and mind.
    I have felt bad sometimes that I am not there for you in the profound ways you’ve been there for me. The way you would come up and relieve me with Mom etc. My most cherished memory of how you helped me survive was when you came up and took care of me when precious Lauren died. You were there nurturing me when I was prostrate with a broken heart, nausea and such weakness I couldn’t stand up.
    Then there was Sam’s stroke and you coming to relieve my horrible situation!
    The gift you gave me last year was a month in Italy with absolutely no worry whatsoever. The only such freedom in 64 years!
    So speaking of rocks, big sister you are it! There is no one like you. I love you more than I can express.


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