10 Memories of My Sister

  1. Making me cry sometime when I was very young (I don’t actually remember that part), and later saying she was sorry and giving me a homemade card with a big blue puffy heart sticker in the middle of it. I kept that card for a very long time, at least well into high school.

  1. Taking me along with her on a night she and her girlfriends went to see the Dark Crystal at the drive-in. Getting gallons of ice cream (mint chocolate chip), sitting on the hood of the car with all these cool girls 9 years older than me. The drive-in changed the movie to Winnie the Pooh. I might have been the only one in the group not really put out by that.

  2. Being kind of a big deal in the 4th grade for having a sister at the Coast Guard Academy.

  3. Riding with the parents 8 hours to Connecticut to visit her at the Academy. Eating at the same restaurant every time that had great hush puppies.

  4. Getting in trouble for complaining that I could never live up to her.

  5. Really getting in trouble for having the obligatory party at the house when the parents went down to Florida for her graduation from flight school.

  1. Her present to me upon my graduation from high school–a laundry bag filled with 10 balloons. Each balloon contained a $100 bill.

  2. A random gift of a flight toHawaii for spring break, followed by a sail to Kauai. Docking in a silent cove. Watching the Three Musketeers on the boat. Touring that beautiful island. I actually have no memory of the sail back to Oahu.

  3. Long phone calls during my divorce, telling me the same things I was telling her during long phone calls during her divorce, except I didn’t remember telling her any of those things.

  4. Sitting at her retirement ceremony, June of 2008, remembering back, considering the huge accomplishment of being a Commander in the Coast Guard, having flown helicopters over Hawaii and the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Having chosen to leave all that behind to be a mother and then surprising everyone at what an amazing and patient mother she is. Seeing both those worlds converge, the ceremonious glory of important medals and an honorary master chief distinction, the humble apotheosis of motherhood.

Despite being nine years older than me, my sister and I have always been very close. Because of her I always felt more mature than my years. I could maintain a cosmopolitan superciliousness with the knowledge gleaned from her experience. When that failed and I broke down into tears, as I often did, I had a shoulder that didn’t question or even require explanation.

So basically, I have the most kick ass sister ever.