I would like more sisters, that the taking out of one, might not leave such stillness. ~Emily Dickinson
I had four! Now I have three.
I consider myself lucky to have three sisters even though they have driven me crazy at times, have made me love them too much, have made me wish I had only brothers or even better been an only child.
You see they are all younger than me. I am their older sister, their role model (according to my mother). I am the one who they often came to with their problems, their fears, their arguments with each other, their anger and just their need at times for someone to talk to.
Am I closer to one more than the other? Well, it depends on what is happening in the world of my family. At one time or another each one played a special part in my life.
Marie, my sister who was only 360 days younger than me, who grew up with me, who came to a new country and world was my direct opposite. She was dark, fiery, an athlete, a tomboy, willing to fight anyone at any time…I was blonde, shy and a bookworm. She was often found in a tree, in a cowboy suit with a gun, or playing rough and tumble games outside. I was to be found in the bedroom with book, sitting and getting lost in places I as reading about. Still, while we may not have shared our looks or our behavior and personality we did share the love and adoration of our parents and younger siblings and grew up in ordinary, German/Australian household.
Growing up, we shared a bedroom, we shared our clothes, although there were often arguments about who owned the stockings, the make up, the hair spray, we shared the love of our parents and knew we individually held a special place in the family. As teenagers we argued over boyfriends, over personal space over everything and anything. That changed as we both grew up, married, had children and became women.
I thought we would always have each other to occasionally confide in, to ask advice of, to spend time with and to gossip about our younger siblings and our parents but cancer took her away from all of me. So very quickly, I didn’t really have the time to say the things I wanted to say, to acknowledge the love and companionship we had with each other. It is only now that I realize and appreciate what she gave to me and what I gave back in return.
Even when she was told she only had six months to live, she continued to be so strong, so courageous and bold, she told us all the cancer would not kill her. It did! It didn’t take six months it took less time than that, even so the week before she died she was still organizing a barbeque at her place for the family.
Her courage and endurance was an inspiration to all of us, but most especially to me.