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Ode to my little sister


I love having sisters. I don’t think I would have survived to adulthood if I had been an only child. I mean, it was tenuous anyway, what with one sister biting me, the other try to strangle me to death and the littlest sister pooping on me. But I have come to appreciate in my old age that I could not have made it without my sisters.

My sister, B., and I have always fought like cats and dogs. We’re three years apart. We are opposite sides of the same coin or so we like to think. We think so much alike that we think it’s on fair to our opponents to be on the same team when we play boardgames. Now that she’s lived in Ohio for almost a year, I call her, text her and email her, however infrequently, in all my moods, but mostly hysterical and excited. One day I call her to catch up: life, work, husbands, etc. The next I call her just to shoot the breeze: “I’ve walking to the gym and I was just thinking….” But my favorite time to call is when I’m pretty sure I’ve either lost it or am about to lose it: “I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!” She responds pretty much the same way every single time. She listens unfailingly. She understands me in the way that only someone who has suffered in the same manner can. Even if she tried to kill me several times growing up because I got dubbed the “good girl” to her “bad girl.”

My sister, A., is the surprise. She’s seven years younger. I cried my eyes out when I got married and my husband wasn’t sure how he felt about my little sister living with us. I wouldn’t make it through the week without her. She follows me around making sure I don’t overdo it or lose it. We talk for long hours reminiscing about our childhoods, our present and our future. When my husband asks me what I’d do if I won the lottery, I make sure that I mention all the ways I’d change my sisters’ lives with an especially long laundry list of things I’d do for A., for A. who does my laundry, my dishes, cleans my toilet and puts me in my place like no one can.

I love my sisters. And I know that I’m incomplete without them. That I can’t get through the day without adding their strength to mine. And that I live another day to cajole and pester them.

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