My mom tells me that when I was little, I was oh-so-very-excited about having a sister. I was ready, at two, to be the best darn older sister that anyone could have. There was one slight glitch in this whole scenario, though. My sister. She came into this world ready to live…without help from anyone. I mean… just look at this photo. I am glowing with excitement. My sister, on the other hand… She’s probably thinking: The minute I can walk, I’m getting the heck away from these crazy people. I wouldn’t doubt it if she had been planning her escape in utero. She was cooler than me from the very beginning and she knew it.
She could make people laugh with a sarcastic remark at the drop of a hat. She could piss off everyone within a mile radius just as easily. She was good and bad, all shades of the grey in-between. She was alive. More than anyone I’ve ever known.
So, when she got sick at the age of nine, she didn’t become this meek, appreciative, wisp of a creature. Eventually, she became a very angry wisp of a creature. You can’t really blame her. It wasn’t fair. Why did she get sick? Why did everything always go wrong? She had 17 years of … well, shittiness (save the year she had a kidney). She struggled with being sick while still having an insatiable hunger for life.
And we did not get along at all. Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit. But, we were completely different people. COMPLETELY. In simple terms, I was a geek and like I already mentioned – she was way cool. I affectionately called her brat (and when we were really fighting, not-so-affectionately called her the other ‘b’ word). I can’t even count the number of times my mom told us that we’d “grow out of fighting.” We. Did. Not.
Underneath her tough exterior, though, she was completely loving. When I was younger and lived at home, not one night went by that she didn’t tell me she loved me. And, as adults, not one fight didn’t end with us making up (eventually) and telling each other that we loved one another.
When she died, people reassured me that she loved me. But, that’s one thing that I am completely sure of – never have doubted. Not because she told me all the time, but because we were so different, that if not for the love of being sisters, we would have chosen other company.