If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Saturday, March 15, 2008


They are four of us; I'm the youngest. When we were very young we distributed the identities of the Fantastic Four. I don't know their names but my oldest sister was the guy who could fly and turn into fire, the second oldest was the guy who turned into rocks (very Hulk-like), my third sister was the only girl - who could become invisible and had a force field, and I was the guy who could stretch like rubber.

Later we took on the identities of the sisters in Little Women. My oldest sister was Meg and the second oldest was Jo. These fit in both birth order and personality. However I ended up being Beth, the one too good for this world who dies young (I was not-so-affectionately nicknamed "Little Miss Goody-Two Shoes" and was the child who came down with every illness and/or injury). My third sister, who is only 16 months older than me, was Amy, the youngest. Amy is the girly one, the artistic/creative one, the emotional and spoiled one.

I spoke to my sister, Amy, last night. She is in a world of pain. We've been raised to hide/deny pain in my family, so Amy is very busy. We talked for over an hour. Amy and I have lived together a good deal of our lives. We grew up sharing a room; we went to camp together; we shared an apartment (along with Boy's dad - my first husband) for several years; and we spent every Christmas Eve and Christmas Day together until we were in our 30's. Amy is a martial artist, like me, and we were in the same dojo for 17 years.

At one point last night she reminded me that years ago I had told her I imagined the two of us living together and traveling when we were old and our husbands were gone. She's thinking about this now and although her children are her life and she loves her husband she's good with the idea of ending up with a sister.

I've invited her to come visit for a long weekend. She needs the mental break. She said her family is "stymied" right now. I think some space could help her get unstuck so she and her family can move on. She had a lot of reasons why she couldn't come visit--money, the kids' schedule, logistics, etc. I told her that I had already spoken to Meg and Jo and we had a plan for every difficulty. She said it would take a lot of coordination, she felt bad she couldn't manage it on her own, but if we could make it work she love to come more than anything.

I told her we'd make it work.


Hilaire said...

That sounds like a lovely relationship. I'm glad you can help her through this.

Amanda said...

You are a wonderful sister. In fact you guys are all wonderful. I'm glad that you all can help each other out. I hope that Amy makes it through everything.