Monday, March 12, 2012

Sisterly Love

She carried me on her back as she ran on the hardened pathways in an around the locks, doing her best to keep up with her friend Hazel who raced unencumbered. She was six years older and I was her little sidekick whether she wanted one or not. She was the first person I can remember wanting to emulate. She was athletic, her blonde ponytail bouncing as tried handstands and incredibly creative, sketching pencil renderings of graceful horses, sewing her own skirts and dresses and strumming her guitar as she hummed out favourite tunes in her high, gentle voice. She wasn't my sister - although I wished she was - she was my aunt.

Both of my grandmothers had babies in their forties begifting me with a young aunt and uncle - both who were young enough to be my sibs. When my grandfather passed, my aunt was only 11. She and my grandmother moved with us to a new town where we all started a new life. We went to the same school for a few years - me trailing behind her and her girlfriend as they giggled and chatted about things that I had no business knowing. When I felt the need for instant attention I would round up a bunch of my classmates and announce that my aunt went to my school. Of course back then, aunts were wizened older ladies - not school girls, so when proof was demanded, I would march the clan over to the circle of big girls and proudly point out "this is my aunt!" (to her horror).

Years passed and although my attempts at sketching and sewing failed, I can't sing a note, and my guitar playing never progressed past 8 chords, I never quite lost the desire to be just like Mugs. The love I have for her is deeper than that of aunt and as fragile as the feelings of wanting to make her proud. She is now the lone survivor of a family of seven children, a mother, wife and grandmother. In her, tiny traces of my mother and grandmother reside; little bits of recognition, subtle gestures and nuances that bring me comfort.

Today is her birthday - and I don't think I have told her often enough how much she means - and has meant - to me in my life. I often refer to her as the big sister I never had - but in hind sight, I suppose I did. Happy birthday Mugs. You have your own permanent little space in my heart carved out and I carry you with me always.

4 comments:

  1. Well done, my far-away friend. Thanks for checking in on me and your kind comment. I know I have become sporatic with my posts but when I manage to spit one out, it's people like you whom I love doing it for. I do live for feedback; that's no lie. In fact everything I post is the truth unless I change someone's name for privacy. I have always admired your blog as well. Nicely done to say the least. Hope I can return the nice little boost you just gave me when I found your comment. Sometimes I just have to get something out that is inside my head and heart; it's like frosting on the cake when I discover someone like you lets me know you appreciated it. Thanks, girlfriend. Keep on keepin on and I will try to do the same. {{ HUG }}

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  2. PS: I am an "only girl" too and I have a couple of older cousins I adore too. I have always wondered if they HAD been my real big sisters if they would have been as kind to me and as fun to be with. Probably not... {;>^ Like my real older brother, they'd probably have considered me a real pain in the ass!

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  3. Actually Donna - I am not an only girl, but rather, the oldest sister to three sibs. Part of me always loved the idea of having an older sister to look up/lean on. And I suppose I did in fact have one -- just not in name.

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  4. Oh geez, this was beautiful and my eyes couldn't bear it anymore before they finally burned with tears. :) I love the story of how you had to prove she was your aunt. I could picture the whole thing!
    Happy Belated Birthday, Mugs.

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