When my sister, Diane, and I were little girls, we played and hung out together all the time. We had big imaginations, and we usually had elaborate "games" going -- with our Barbies and dolls, mostly, and frequently involving homemade "tents" and other hideouts. We spent our downtime together reading, listening to our records, or watching television.
Here we are in the summer of 1966 with our kitty, Sylvester. I'm the dark one; Di's the light one.
Our tv-watching evolved over the years. We started out watching Gilligan's Island and the original Batman, moved on to The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family, and eventually graduated to All My Children and The Midnight Special. Along the way, we discovered old movies - which we loved - and, in particular, we discovered. . . this:
Yes, this classic scene from White Christmas became our Sister Theme Song! We have sung this song together many, many times over the years. Sometimes with dance steps and props, but usually without.
My sister and I have a very close relationship. We always have. (Time helps us overlook the scuffles, doesn't it, Di? Like the time with the spatula? Or the fights in the backseat of the car? Or the time you took my. . . never mind!) We were siblings who actually LIKED each other!
Here were are in our Easter finery in 1970.
Through the years of our lives, we've been there for each other -- supporting, advising, cheering, laughing, crying, remembering. Even now, as adults who live Very Far Away from each other, we remain close. Friends. Sisters.
Here we are in college, where our paths crossed for a brief semester. I was a senior; Di was a freshman.
This past year, when I was diagnosed with lymphoma, my sister rallied around me in a huge way. Huge. She couldn't be physically with me during diagnosis and treatment -- but she was with me spiritually. For almost 6 months, my sister emailed or phoned me every single day. She sent cards -- funny, inspirational, beautiful -- a couple of times a week. She kept track of all my appointments and treatments and demanded complete follow-up details after each one (she and Tom usually had hilarious email exchanges going while I was having my chemo treatments)! Since she couldn't physically bring dinners over for my family, she sent restaurant gift cards and take-out menus. She had flowers delivered after EACH of my chemo treatments -- they were always waiting for me when I got home. She sent thoughtful gifts - somehow knowing, intuitively, when I would need them the most. Two days after I lost my hair, a box arrived on my doorstep --- inside was a small hanging mirror etched with the words "You Look Fabulous!" Before my first chemo treatment, I opened a buttery soft wrap so I could feel her hug during my treatments. At Thanksgiving, she had a box of baking mixes sent so I could still host Thanksgiving dinner without having to tire myself with baking. She kept me comfy with a Pajama-gram. She sent me a necklace featuring a tiny super-hero cape and tiara (becuase you can do anything with a cape and a tiara. . .). She sent a spirit candle. The list goes on.
In short, my sister kept me going. Every day. I never doubted she was with me every step of my journey. Every day. Despite being far away, she stayed close to me. Every day.
There was never such a devoted sister!
Thanks, Di. I couldn't have done it without you!