He may not be much to look at, but when I’m asked what I would grab if my house was set on fire…  He’s the answer (presuming there aren’t living things also in the house).  His arms are outstretched and his nose is permanently smooshed to the side because of nearly 31 years of hugging.  I even have a tough time falling asleep sometimes, if I don’t wrap my arm around a pillow because I grew up sleeping with my arm around him (as an adult, sometimes – just sometimes – your teddy bear has to reside on a shelf so he’s not always an option).

When my sister visited for my birthday and graduation two years ago, she didn’t feel well and so was getting ready for bed early.  She laid down and me and my mom were talking to her and figuring out who was going to sleep where in the house…and she asked if I had a pillow that she could hug…she said that since she grew up sleeping with her arm around her stuffed animal (a little brown monkey), she couldn’t fall asleep without wrapping her arm around something.  I grabbed my teddy bear from the shelf and handed him to her – my mom faked a gasp.  This was unprecedented – the sharing of my sacred friend.  But, like I said…things had changed in those last months.  I had started to learn how to be a sister…so I handed him over for the night.

I had never known that we had that in common.  Until that day, I never knew we shared a silly trait from sleeping with stuffed animals way past childhood.

I hold onto this tiny bond we had with all my might.

This small moment of truly being sisters.

The Dress

sister_dressI am a bridesmaid.  For the first time.  I’m more of a boy’s girl than a girl’s girl.  Hence, I’ve never been in a wedding.  I’m sure all of you know this, but weddings are a butt-ton of work.  I sort of knew this, but now I really know this…and I’m only really involved in planning the pre-wedding events.

Anyway, wedding craziness is not the point of this post…but the bridesmaid dress I chose is.  I went dress shopping with the future Mrs. to try on dresses in the color scheme of the wedding (weddings have color schemes, if you did not know this).  In this particular dress store, the different styles are named…well, names.  Normal people names.

I try on a few but only one really looks good on me…it even goes with the cowboy boots I’m wearing (this is a very important qualification of any dress I own).  As I’m wearing it, staring in the mirror, my friend asks if I noticed the name of the dress.

I had not.

It’s my sister’s name.

Dress. Sold.

Show and Tell

ari on horse 2b‘Show and Tell’ time!  Just like the good ol’ days.  Here’s a picture of my sister.  I think she was two.  If you’re unclear of the danger of the situation,  that pony is a good foot off the ground…and it’s not your typical rocking horse.  It’s held in the air by rods sticking out that are attached to springs running horizontally, that then attach to the outside pole structure.  And, THAT is how my sister liked to ride it.  AT TWO.  Good grief.  If there is one picture that sums the child up – it’s this.  Precariously balancing on a spring-loaded pony.  She’s insane.  She pushed the limits – that’s for sure.  My mom says that she’d fall off…and get right back up and do this over and over.  …thinking of my mom…ha…good parenting there.  Letting your two-year-old perform circus acts whilst taking pictures.  LOL.

I miss my sister so much today.  It’s one of those days where there’s this tight pressure on my chest…it’s not quite suffocating, it’s just this heavy feeling, as if gravity has shifted so that, even though I’m upright, it can still press down.  And down down down it presses.

Recently, I’ve been skirting a lot of feelings…the top one being: GUILT.  In my situation, there’s a lot to feel guilty about and it’s exacerbated by the fact that she had an illness.  I always knew she was sick, knew that there was a high probability she wouldn’t make it another five years.  Why-oh-why didn’t this change my actions more?  I. Don’t. Know.  I have some valid excuses.  But, not enough to make me feel better.  My mom points out that in the last two years – I did go home more often and I did try to do more things with her.  Somehow, this doesn’t help, because all I can see is the other more, the more that I should have done.

And, then…there’s this other guilt…and when I acknowledge this other guilt…my eyes instantly water and I………

….don’t want to acknowledge this other guilt right now.  Because my eyes just instantly watered and my throat tightened up and the pressure on my chest just got heavier…….

So, I will press my fingers to my forehead…and massage this all away…

And deal with it another day.

(Note the rhyme…pretty impressive, yes?)

(Yay for distracting myself from myself!)

(…is this denial?  I don’t know…)