In some town I’ve never been, in your home I’ve not yet seen, you’re getting ready for work. Brushing your hair, tossing it in a ponytail and neatly hanging up your towel to dry. The only thing out of place is the crumpled sheets you just got out of. And we both know you’ll have that bed made before you get back in it for the night.
Everything in your home, like in your old apartment, I imagine is neatly stored in its place.
You know, when we were little, I didn’t know how I would ever be able to be without you. To sleep in a bed without your cuddles and hugs. Without your kicks, and screams. Without those back rubs and scratches. Without those hundreds of giggles each night.
My first vivid memory, is of you looking up at me crying when we got lost that time. You know the time. And my knowing I had to protect you. And that I had to be strong for you. I couldn’t cry. I needed you to know that everything would be okay. And, so I kept telling you I knew where we were even though I hadn’t a clue. I tried to hide the fear for as long as I could while you hauled and pleaded and cried for mom. And I knew I needed to protect you, because I was your big sister.
When you arrived home earlier from school than I did, you at 2:20pm and me at 3:00pm I worried about you. I was a worrier from the start. I worried what would happen to you if I wasn’t there with you. I felt like I needed to protect you.
When you’d get mad and run away from our group of friends, I would chase after you. Mutual friends would tell me to forget about it. To let you go. But I couldn’t. What if something happened to you? I needed to protect you.
When I went to a different school, initially I missed you. But I soon made more friends, older friends, and for a while things changed. I no longer wanted to take you with me. I wanted to hang out with the “older crowd,” and I know that hurt you. Because you’ve told me. You told me how much you hated me then.
I remember mom and dad telling me to take you with me, that you’d always be there, while some of those friends wouldn’t be. And they were right. But what kid heeds such good advice.
We fought like crazy for a couple of years. We were both starting to try to figure out who we were, and who we were going to be. I was pink and you were blue. I was more concerned of what people thought, and clothes and makeup, and you were just trying to have fun, being you, makeup and clothes didn’t phase you.
We didn’t know then what direction we were headed, but still, when I cried you were there for me. And when you cried, I was there for you. On family vacations we swam, and laughed, and giggled. And ate subway and poutine. And, of course, we still fought.
But the love you have for your sister never changes. The love is always there, ringing throughout grocery isles.
When you’d get sick, or went to the hospital, I worried about you and I prayed everything would be okay. When I left for university, I worried about being separated from you but I didn’t tell you that. I tried to be strong for you, and for myself.
And when I got there, I missed you like crazy. And when you came to visit, and when you left, I cried for days.
It was too hard to be without you. And so, when you came to school the following year, things stated to put themselves back together again. We laughed, and we cried, and we partied, and we went to movies, and we ate Mary Brown’s, and you were there for me when I needed you. And I’d like to think you felt like I was there for you
We often slept together and cuddled, and fell asleep talking.
“Come sleep with me tonight?”
And you’d come to my room with your blanket and pillow, or the other way around, and like two little girls, in our early 20’s we had our sleepovers. And we still fought over the car we shared. And when that car broke down, and we needed to take the bus, well…our grades may have suffered.
We’ve moved through life together, and so when you moved to Halifax it was hard for me. I wanted you to come home.
Now you’re living near the big ol’ city, and you’re so far away. But never really that far, because a piece of you is always at home in my heart.
And while I felt like I needed to be there for you when you dated a couple idiots and you wanted me to be excited for you, I couldn’t be. Because I still felt like I needed to protect you.
But now, you know, I don’t feel like that anymore. I know you can protect yourself. And I know you always could. Because you’ve got more strength than anyone I have ever known. And I love you more than all of the poutines and cream soda’s and big mary’s in the world.
Your big sista. x