Letter for my Sister

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Letter for my Sister
So you know how much I love you.

Dear Sister,

We’re not close, I know. We never really have been. We’ve never been the sisters who do each other’s makeup and/or hair, paint our nails, and exchange gossip. I don’t know what’s going on in your life, and you don’t know what’s going on in mine. We never bother to ask, and if we do, we’re the type of sisters who will lie to each other.

I blame it on us being too close and yet still not close enough in age. We have a gap of only two years, but those two years can seem like a thousand sometimes.

 I always saw you as the “Golden Child.” You were the one who had horses, barns, and cowboy boots, a common interest with our mother and grandfather. You were sick with asthma and allergies almost constantly, so you were never lacking in attention and care. You’re hands-down the most beautiful woman in the entire family, and definitely one of the kindest. I still remember all the tears you’ve shed over all the poor, lost, and wounded animals we’ve ever come across. Everyone thought for sure you’d be a vet someday or at least a nurse. 

But you don’t think you’re smart enough, pretty enough, good enough…why? Why would you ever feel that way? I’ve spent much of my life believing you are better than me, envying you, but obviously not nearly enough time getting to know you.

I don’t know what you’ve been through. I don’t know where these false beliefs you have about yourself come from. For years, I thought I was the Damaged One. I was so wrapped up in my own messed-up world that I never paid attention to yours. We’ve always lived across the hall from each other, but we might as well have lived on completely different planets.

But even if we did come from different planets, we orbited the same sun, didn’t we? Our problems were different yet the same. Our habits nearly identical. We both have the tendency to withdraw and hide from our problems. To bury our issues underneath layers of denial. We are masters at pretending. We know which face to put on and when. Our happiest faces come out when we’re the most devastated.

And that’s how I know to be scared for you. Whenever you smile, I begin to worry. Whenever you laugh, I cringe. It sounds awful, I know. But I’ve been there. I know the difference between real and make-believe.

I should have reached out to you. I should have been there for you. But I didn’t know how. You dismissed all my attempts at trying, and honestly, I don’t blame you. We’ve spent most of our lives as something similar to enemies. A friendship between us would be new and scary as drastic change often is. 

But that’s no excuse. You’re my sister. You’re the only one I’ve got, and I love you. It’s time I started showing you how much.

I’m glad you spent time with me this weekend, even though I was really sick most of the time. I’m glad you came out of your shell, and I came out of mine enough for us to have something of a conversation. I hope to spend more time with you soon as we navigate the tricky waters of life together.



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