Growing up, My Sister and I were almost always at odds. Some people said we were normal siblings. I don’t think we were. I don’t think we hated each other but, I’m not sure we were ever happy together either. Despite my beliefs we almost always took pictures like this:
We never really played together much. Especially once we found our “hobbies” in school and with our friends. I lived down the street at my best friends house most of the time, sleeping over there often…and becoming a surrogate part of his family. What she did during that time? I have no idea.
She was a dancer:
and spent most of her time completely devoting herself to becoming an even more brilliant dancer. By the time we reached Highschool,
(damaged photo courtesy of Hurricane Katrina, that fucking bitch)
even living in the same house, we barely saw each other at all. Especially once we learned how to drive.
In school, She was outrageously smart! Me? I struggled with everything but writing (of course) and back then I HATED to write. She was going places and doing things. I was drawing pictures of knights and dragons and dreaming of one day building a castle.
She was VERY beautiful. I was awkward and never quite happy with my looks.
She was popular. I was lucky to have the handful of friends I had…unless it was wednesday or the moon was full or high tide…I don’t know…every day was a new adventure in who would decide to bully you….
But I never stopped trying to protect Her..and I did love Her. Once, a boy she was dating was screaming so loudly at her in his car, I could hear him through the open window of my bedroom…
She came into the house crying, He tried to follow Her in…that was his mistake..I was ready to wrap a cast iron floor lamp around his head when my Mom got in between us and by some miracle (for him) my dad came home early from work…He took him outside…and I went back to my room.
She left him right after that.
I never checked to see if She was ok, and She never told me Thank You. Didn’t need to be done. It was understood. If you’re my blood or I love you…that’s what I do.
She gave my parents Hell…they were constantly unsure of what to do with Her…and She bullied them around in ways that would make my Jaw drop open…because I know I would never have gotten away with that….
When She was diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis) we were in our twenties. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a small manifestation. We learned about what the disease does and that there was no cure..and we hoped it would spare Her most of the rest of Her life…I hugged Her..and cried.
She went on with Her life…and so Did I….She got married and had two beautiful girls….I got married and had 2 beautiful kids of my own.
Before Katrina, I saw my family pretty regularly…After the storm they are about an hour’s drive away from Me. We visit when we can. But I am very removed from them and their daily lives. Both My parents and My Sister.
Recently, over the last few years, Her disease has rapidly progressed. Its taken most of her mobility away and in the last few days, it’s doing something to Her ability to communicate.
She’s been admitted to the hospital today…
I sit here typing this because I, Her big brother, am powerless to defend Her. There is no cast iron lamp I can attempt to wrap around this Disease’s head…and when I am upset, I write.
I just got off the phone with my Dad. Who is crying uncontrollably. And He has every right to. I have children, same as He. I know what kind of pain this is causing Him.
You feel weak and stupid and like you aren’t good for anything.