Sometimes when I look back on my life I remember being lonely. I don't remember many things from when I was really young and lived in Lansing, but spotty things here and there. I remember my house, my stark white bedroom (that's another story in itself), Colt Elementary School, the principal and the peas story, playing in the Burger Chef parking lot which resulted in a beating all the way home, the tornado from the Fortino's basement and the girlfriends ... Linda C., Diane M. and Teresa B.
What I don't remember is having a sister. I know she was there but I don't remember her being there. The only thing I remember about being little and having a sister was riding with her on the toboggan behind our Grandpa S.'s tractor on Christmas Eve. That's it. Nothing else.
I start to remember her more after we moved to Crystal in 1972. I was only 9 but she was 16. She was the pretty one with the boyfriends and I was the follower. I remember that her and my Mom didn't get along all that well but I would just sit back and watch them fight. I was always the suck up who ran to Mom every chance I got and she would run straight to Dad.
I had lots of friends from that point on and never really gave having a sister any thought. When I was 12, she got married and left home. That was just fine with me. I had a bedroom all to myself now. Looking back, I wish I had had someone in my life that was more my age. Someone to talk to and share secrets with. Someone who wanted to be around, not someone who was forced to take me to the roller rink just because Mom said so.
When Robyn had her girls, I was just the age to be the babysitter. I loved babysitting those girls. Playing house and I was the Mom. I remember being there almost all the time. When I wasn't there babysitting, I was there just hanging around. I think this is when I finally started realizing that I had a sister only she was old like a parent ... and - she could buy alcohol. WOO HOO!!!
As the years went on, we had a relationship, but not a sisterly kind of one. We played video games by the hours. Passing time trying to beat that damn Bubble Bobble monster, eating snacks, attempting to get to just one more level to save the princess from the Mario dragon. We did this several nights a week. We had so much fun but we still never really talked to each other.
I got married and had kids of my own so we kind of went our own ways. She ended up in Carson City and we were in Crystal. We saw less and less of each other unless we were at a family function. Robyn wasn't really a family function kind of girl. She preferred to stay home or in her own little corner of the world. I got divorced from my first husband and got married to my current husband. It was pretty apparent that neither Robyn or her husband cared for Warren very much. Warren is a very gruff person and tends to rub a lot of people the wrong way. You just have to know which way to take him or better yet, don't take what he says as much of anything. This has been learned over many years. The thing about him is that he loves me and that should count for something.
When Greg left Robyn, I felt really sorry for her. She had been with this man for well over 25 years and now her kids were grown and gone, he left and she was alone. We started hanging out a little. Whenever my kids went to visit their dad or I had free time, I went and sat with Robyn and we began what I call ... a sister relationship. It was the first time I recall feeling like I really had a sister.
Fast forward to today. The last two years have been pretty rough on my family. We lost my Dad who had been sick for a very long time first. Then we lost my Mom very quickly after finding out that she had lung cancer. I really believe that the time has come when I have a real sister. I feel like I can call her anytime I need a boost or a word of encouragement. She has rallied behind me on the Weight Watcher diet we have all been on even though I sometimes falter. She is right there to give me a hand to stand back up again. She knows just how to lie enough to Mr. Grumpy when we have in fact not gone to Red Lobster but give him kudos when he gets me to walk a half a mile.
She has her faults (and I know them) and I have mine (and I'm sure she knows them) but I can honestly say that I am so happy that we finally have each other. I hope she feels the same way.
PS - Pictures stolen from Jen!