a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

A Letter to My Sister

Dear Ann,

When I told you I was writing about you, your response was, “Oh no!” I’ll be honest — it sort of clammed me up. The thing is, we’ve had a rocky history.

There was that time you put burrs in my hair and mom had to cut them out. And then there was that time I threw a tube of body cream at you and it exploded on the wall and we proceeded to battle with palmfuls of greasy, perfumed goop. I recall one time when I threw dad’s Sade CD at you — I accurately calculated its flight potential as a razor-frisbee, but horribly underestimated the cost of scratching Dad’s favorite CD. I believe once or twice you made me cry, and once or twice I dug at your nerves until your beautiful brown-eyed wells sprung with water. One time, on the way to church, mom and dad caught me scratching myself on my own arm (after they had yelled at you for this exact offense). It may have been this time — or perhaps one of the others — when dad actually curbed the Chevy and made us walk home.

But there were good things too, my sister.

There was the time we invented the Helping Hotline and played hours and hours of verbal “Dear Abby” with dad’s monstrous corded car phone. And do you remember our cooking show? We called it the Sally and Margaret Show — named after two of mom’s best friends. I recall shadowing you when you played with Samantha. I can see us tramping through the woods, singing songs at the top of our lungs, crazy as larks. Speaking of Larks, we used to have so much fun with grandma Helen’s Lark. That little ol’ motorized scooter sure could zip when we ramped it up to rabbit speed. Cruising up and down the hallways of Grandview Nursing Home, we whooped like drunken teenagers as old folks ate liquefied peas. And then there was that time, that four-year stretch, when you unlocked your athletic potential. As I watched it unfold, I thought: Wow, that’s my sister. She’s awesome.

And then we went off and pursued different paths. Now you’re a mom, and you’ve got the two cutest kids on the planet. You’re a great mom. Have I ever told you that? You really are. You’re an exemplary wife to an exemplary husband. You were the maid-of-honor that every girl dreams of and most girls never get.

We’re in a good place now. Lotion fights are behind us and the Helping Hotline has been disconnected. But so many good things lie ahead.

I love you, sis. I can’t wait to see what’s next (as long as no burrs are involved).

Love,

Jill

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