I miss my sister horribly. She and I are the bookends. I am the alpha and she is the omega and wedged in between us are four others -- two boys, two girls. We talk just about every day and I so look forward to those end-of-day telephone calls when we discuss the day's events and comment on what we've read or heard during our daily lives. This became our habit five years ago when our mother died. We became disassociated -- not from each other, but from family. I was living in San Francisco and she was settling into life in Atlanta. The others have remained happily ensconced in Boston.
I think that Patricia and I both talked to our mother every day. I began the habit after my Dad died more than 10 years ago. At the time I was living in Connecticut and on my commute home from Hartford, I would call my Mother and discuss the day's events. Patricia, I believe, had adopted the same routine.
My mother had this fabulous knack of making me feel good even if I had screwed up. With the lilt of her Boston accent she'd encourage me along the road of parenthood and career when I would become discouraged with one or both. She always told me I was doing a good job, even when I knew I really wasn't. She encouraged Trish too, who like me, was married to a difficult man and juggling parenthood.
When my mother died on a gorgeous August afternoon, my anchor was gone. My mother was the center of our family. She was the sun and her six children were like planets orbiting around her. I felt like I had been flung out into the universe alone. I was 3,000 miles away from Boston, my home, and no where near family and I had no friends. I was alone except for my nine-year-old daughter and a man who was conspiring to become my ex-husband.
The frequency of the telephone conversations between Patricia and me intensified. I think we went from once a week to a couple times a week. Then I remember having a conversation with her about Mom and how I missed calling her every day. She felt the same way too. Then somewhat tentatively I asked if she would mind if I called her more often and she eagerly agreed. From that day forward we've talked almost every day. Yes, there have been periods when we've gone several days without communicating because life's obligations have gotten in the way. But I do remember my first vacation in the Midwest on Beaver Island, a small little place two hours into Lake Michigan, and driving each day out to a transmission tower to try to call Patricia. We jump through hoops to talk to each other. And there have been a few times when I've failed to talk to her for a couple days and return emails. She has taken me to task over it. I miss her horribly and when we're together we laugh and tease and have a great time. We are truly kindred spirits.
I am very blessed to have such a wonderful sister and friend.