This was first posted last summer, but I couldn’t find it anywhere on my blog. Since my sister shows up a lot in my posts, and I have some upcoming posts inspired by her recent visit, I thought I’d repost this “intro” to one of my most favorite people in the world.
A gun and holster, her wish list read. Mine, a doll and tea set. On Christmas morning, I rocked my doll and set out the tea, while my sister charged through our small apartment war whooping and swinging her gun in the air.
Jacqueline, my pixie faced sister, born when I was four years old, was my real live baby doll. “This is my sister,” I proudly announced. “Yit-ya,” she said, copying me.
She grew up to be a gun toting, bow hunting, fly fishing woman. “I found the perfect holster” she said. “It fits right under my shirt.” (If you’re interested, the holster is a “Flash Bang.” She would be proud of me promoting a product). Yes, she’s the same sister that carries a ninja weapon in her purse. My only sister.
We each swear the other was adopted (but I was here first) because we are different in every way. Well, maybe with the exception that we both love God and pizza.
She’s brave and bubbly, shrugs her shoulders and says, “Oh, well.” She doesn’t like lists or charts and throws her fish sticks in a pile. She laughs a lot, and I mean, a lot. And she makes me laugh so loud, Pete always has to tell us to bring it down a notch.
She’s a persuader, crusader, the kind of person you want to rally around. She’s always selling something. “I just found the greatest thing,” she’ll say. “It will amaze you.” Her words tumble out in a cascade of laughter. I’m laughing because she’s laughing. The product doesn’t amaze me nearly as much as she does.
For years we shared a room, sleeping on an iron trundle we pulled out every night. We giggled way past our bedtime, scribbling hangman or tic tac toe by the moonlight. Huddling behind drapes, elbows perched on the window sill, we pointed at apartment windows with shades half closed. “SHH, he’ll hear you,” we’d whisper, covering our mouths to hold in the laughter.
My sister loves animals, especially saggy, drooly dogs. She’s the quintessential dog whisperer. And she was a drill sergeant in another life, so her dogs are the most well behaved soldiers you’ll ever encounter.
She and her husband, David, took Pete and me camping the month after our honeymoon. My first time camping. We slept in tents in the middle of nowhere (“The middle of nowhere?!” I can hear her say. “It was a park with an outhouse!” Our conversations are always peppered with exclamation points and a good dose of incredulity). The fact that David was a Marine, sometimes armed, and always ready and dangerous, set my heart at ease.
We toasted marshmallows. I ate hot dogs for the first time in ten years and felt nauseous for days after. It turned out I was pregnant. My sister stuffed a pillow under my dress to show me how I would look.
I love my sister. Everyone should have someone who sends them cookie hearts and breast firming gel in the mail. Everyone should have an expert to consult about makeup, bikinis, germ warfare, and dog training. Everyone should have a friend to call in the middle of night. Everyone should have a sister.