Little M, my one biological sister, is just eleven months my junior, and we are each other’s only sibling. Being so close in age we grew up side by side. Believe it or not, we never fought as children. We were well into our teen years before we had an argument, when boys and makeup and clothes came into the mix. But it was more than that. It was at this time that our once meshed existence began to take on 2 forms, each of us branching out into life a little of our own, testing our wings before we would learn to fly. But before that, before we were forced by Mother Nature to begin to grow up, we were best friends. We shared our entire universe and everything in it- family, friends, toys, clothes, a bedroom, secrets, dreams, hopes, fears. We were inseparable. Where I went, she went. What I did, she did. If one of us got in trouble we both took the punishment. If she was hurt, I hurt. When I cried, she cried. We laughed together. We fought for each other. 

We would lose that many years later, temporarily, as we found our own way in life, a way which was so very different. Little M would grow up to be a Christian, like our parents, belonging to a strictly religious church, where as I would grow up to rebel against everything associated with religion. We would both grow up to marry our high school sweethearts, however, while her marriage stood the test of time, mine was a farce that ended in disaster. Little M was reserved and quiet as a child, and still is, where as I was a little wild, slightly outspoken, and somewhat mentally unstable as an undiagnosed bipolar, some of which I still am to a degree. 

Despite our many differences we always maintained a good relationship over the years but it was in the years since we have become parents that we have in many ways recaptured the bond that we had as children. With our kids, we have shared some amazing times together, embarking on our own little adventures and excursions from paint balling to trips to the beach and shopping in the city. I share an amazing relationship with her children, my niece and nephew, and although she doesn’t have a close relationship with mine, I know that she loves them and would do anything for them. 

It’s not always smooth sailing in our relationship as sisters. We fight from time, intense arguments that hurt both our feelings. Sometimes our personalities clash, our opinions on parenting, our views on caring for our aging parents, or our very opposing ideals of what faith and spirituality is and what it should be. Sometimes the riffs last a few minutes, sometimes we might go a couple of days without talking- a cool down period that we both need- but we always make up and when the chips are down, were always there to help each other out. This was never more true than it has been these past few months. 

When I had my “breakdown” last spring, it was Little M that drove me to the doctor when I was unfit to drive myself,  after urging me to go. She sat with me in the waiting room as I rocked back and forth in the chair, trying to distract me from the hurricane happening inside of me. She filled my prescriptions for the prescribed meds, drove me back to our family home, ensured I was safe and taken care of before going to work for what was the left of the day. When I finally went back to my apartment she visited everyday, often doing the housework I had left undone, bringing home cooked meals, and passing the hours with me when my then husband was on a bender and I was left home alone. Even when I sat and stared ahead, not even realizing that anyone else was in the room, she still came and sat there with me, trying her hardest to bring me back from the abyss. She stood by me through the entire ordeal, and when I finally began to come out of the dark place I was in, and learn to live with this new diagnosis, after the end of my marriage and the loss of my apartment, she helped me learn to live again, to rebuild whatever pieces were left of the old me. She did this all for me, as I would have eagerly done for her. 

This past weekend, when illness struck, it was Little M that urged me to go to the ER. It was her that drove me there and waited with me once again as I rocked back and forth in a chair, this time to soothe the pain in my abdomen and back, as she and my teenage niece talked to me, soothed me, and waited patiently till I saw a doctor after midnight. When I was admitted to the hospital and cried because I was never a fan of sleeping away from home and certainly not in an emergency room with 4 other patients around me, separated only by a curtain, and because I was scared of what may have laid ahead, it was Little M that hugged and kissed me and assured me everything would be alright, and that she would be back first thing in the morning, which she was. She was with me through it all, comforting me, telling me she loved me as they wheeled me into the operating room, by my side when I finally was settled back into my hospital room, caring for me for the next couple of days, and even still once I was released from the hospital. She didn’t do it because she had to. It wasn’t because it was her obligation. She did it out of love, a love that only a sister can give, and if the tables were turned I would do it all for her. 

I can’t imagine a life without my sister. I can’t imagine growing up without her at my side. As a woman, I honestly believe one of the most important people that will ever be a part of ones life is a sister. I love her not just because of all that she’s done, or because I know she would do it all over again in a heartbeat but because of who she is and what we are together. As children she was my sidekick, as adults, my very best friend. 

  1. hbhatnagar says:

    That was so moving. I know how it is on the other end of the spectrum, to believe you have a sister only to be disabused of that notion when you need her most. You’re so lucky to have her by your side. I wish you both the best.

    Liked by 1 person

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