Saturday, October 6, 2012

You'll have to forgive me for the long drought. For those of you that know me, it's been one heck of a summer. At some point, it will all come out, but I'm starting with one event. Actually, I'm not even starting with the event. I'm starting with the aftermath. The event happened. The after is where we're at now.

I've always known that I can be an idiot, that's not much of a shocker, but it hit me again a while ago how I was completely looking at something the wrong way. The end of July, my sister, June, had several strokes. She's out of the hospital, she's home and going through therapy. I was torn in my thoughts between she's going to be fine, and she's never going to be the same.

As an aside, at that last comment, I can only say, Duh! I'm not the same person I was last year, or the year before or 15 years before. None of us are, so that shouldn't have bothered me in the least. But it did. I worried for her and I worried about her. Mainly I worried if our relationship would be the same. Again, as if our relationship had never changed. Given how bitterly we fought, man, I'm glad it changed!

We spent a weekend at Mom's recently. She had gone down to get stuff from Grandma's house. We unpacked boxes of stuff in the garage. There were so many memories that came out of those boxes. We remembered where they were in Grandma's house. June and I remembered where they were in the houses on Margaret street, and Chris and Rhonda remembered where they were in Texas. June had a lot of memories to share of where things were at Grandma Great's house. We talked about how some of the things you didn't actually remember until you saw them. I think that's a great description for some of what June is going through right now. There are a lot of things she doesn't remember until she's reminded in some way.

There came a time in the weekend where there was something she didn't remember. It was very upsetting to her. We talked together for a while about it and what the doctor's had to say about it. This particular memory may or may not come back. I wish I could bring it back for her. I wish I could remember it for her. But, I can talk to her about it. I can tell her my memories of it, and maybe sharing other people's memories will help her.

See, I worried about not having the sister that remembered the things we shared as children. I thought that meant she wasn't going to be my sister. That's where I was the idiot. As if remembering those things make her somehow more or less my sister. Heck, I can do the remembering for both of us. She remembered the Haunted House, the Spirit of 76 parade, and our circus performances. She remembered that Finn had brownies for his birthday instead of cake. What makes us sisters isn't the memories. What makes us sisters is simply that we are. We always have been. We always will be.

I am a bit nervous for Christmas. There was this weird thing that we do/did at Christmas. I can't remember how long we've been doing it, but if we are in the same house Christmas morning, we get up at a ridiculous hour, think 3 or 4 in the morning. We make coffee or chocolate, we curl up in front of the tree, and we talk. We talk about our kids, our husbands, our hopes, our fears, our dreams, whatever we want. We're generally slowly joined by our husbands and siblings, and even Mom. It's such a peaceful, relaxing time. I don't know if I'll be at her home Christmas night, but I'm hoping we are. I don't know if she'll get up that early. (I could make sure I make enough noise to wake her up, but that seems a bit like cheating!) But here's the deal. We're adaptable people. If we don't get that time in the middle of the night, we'll find some time to sit and chat. I've noticed that it's not just Christmas. Somehow at every gathering, I manage to find some time where it's just the two of us. And that's time that I treasure. If our Christmas tradition changes, well, it's a good memory, and now we'll be building a new memory. One that we both share. There are enough people that will be missing this Christmas, so I'm pretty darn thankful that my sister June, isn't one of them.

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