Explorations of mind, paths, and life

Little Sister

Posted on April 18, 2009 - Filed Under self reflect

Monica turned 35 today, and for just a few months she is officially 4 years younger than I am. I know she is home sick today, birthday plans shot by a bad round of bronchitis and infections. I tried to give it a different outlook over her birthday phone call…”Look, your body is detoxing for your birthday so you have a really healthy year!” But I do know what a let down it is to have a birthday in pain. Regardless, I really wish I could be there to listen to her moan and offer blankets and band aids or whatever else there is… (AND NOT send her to get her own birthday pizza when her throat hurts and she feels poopy!)

35 Things I LOVE about my sister, Monica:

  1. She was born. Sure, it sounds like I am sucking up, but really, I LOVED knowing I was going to be a BIG sister. It was my job to look after her… and looking after others is in my nature. See – Proud BIG sis!
  2. She has ALWAYS been adventurous. Monica has traveled and explored, and she was rarely afraid (or never showed it!) If you can eat a snail from the garden, you can do ANYTHING!
  3. She looks up to me. I didn’t know this until adulthood conversations. Trust me, she was often a little antagonist when she was young – so I really thought the opposite, but there is a piece of me that feels good knowing she values my journey as much as she values hers.
  4. She was such a monkey. If Monica had it available to climb, that was exactly what she was doing, while chewing “Bubble-Yum” with spider eggs, and hanging upside down.
  5. Monica is there to talk to. I trust her with my life, with my stories, with my feelings, with my soul. I miss her every day that we aren’t somewhere close to each other… I have several “loves” in my life, and she is one of them.
  6. Monica is generous. She is always willing to share, to give, to offer, to support. She is wonderful at it.
  7. Monica writes… stories… like no-other. I think we inherited this from Grandma Harder, but Monica plays with words and stories that send me on journeys. I love her writing, and although it is hard to accomplish – so much pressure, it always is profound and insightful.
  8. Monica and I share the same favorite number. We used to fight about it… “But that’s MY favorite number” and if someone asked us to chose a number we would try to be the first to say 8! She was born on the 18th, I was married on the 18th, we love the infinity 8!
  9. Monica loved to tag along. She started the concept, “what about me?” and Big Sister duties sometimes felt overwhelming… but Monica stuck to me like bubble gum (with spider eggs).
  10. Monica is frugal – she still teaches me how to find a great deal. She has always created for her self what she needs and wants. I know times are tough, but Monica always knows how best to handle a dollar.
  11. Monica is tenacious – which is a quality that moves people forward. That strength has taught me lessons – and I sometimes call upon that same “Monica-Tenacity” to get me through things in life.
  12. Monica makes amazing friends. She knows some of the most amazing people, and retains those friendships with care and pleasure. What is really fun is when I meet her friends I feel like I have known them forever – I am never an outcast.
  13. Monica is an artist – a creative. She always has been, but in the shadow of a child who was often recognized for her artistic abilities, I think that piece of her took a while to emerge. I love that she is willing to explore that, and draw, paint, build, and play.
  14. Monica dances – belly dances… and she is a goddess in so many ways.
  15. Monica is brilliant – she knows so much about so many things. She loves to research and stretch her mind (beyond what I am even willing to do) and I admire that so much.
  16. Monica sends me in the right directions with books to read… I hate trying to figure things out in the bookstore. Monica always knows what to point out because I SWEAR, she has read them all!
  17. She encourages self-nurturing- and for me that is needed. When I go stay with her we play “spa day” and she gives me all kinds of magic potions to make me look young and healthy. She knows what is good for us… so I tag along, mesmerized by her beauty skills.
  18. I LOVE the way she takes care of her volunteers at work. She has everything ready for them; water, clip boards, name tags – carefully organized. It says something about her, and why the program is full of volunteers – I can see they are appreciated.
  19. Monica and I stick up for each other. When Monica was born I felt such a strong need to protect her. Despite fighting so much as kids, I got mad because SHE got mad that I was taking care of her. Now, I know we look after each other with the same determination as we did when we pulled each other’s hair out.
  20. Monica has no shame about her body and self-expression. This is huge for me – because it is in this that I really admire and look up to her. I struggle with feeling ok with myself, but she regards herself with care and self-acceptance that. At least, that is what I see.
  21. Monica likes my stories. I love that she laughs and listens. I think that has encouraged me to be the writer and story-teller that I am. She has always endured my performances since we were little… she is one of my best audiences.
  22. If I need encouragement I know where to go. She is amazing at putting things in different perspectives so that I can move to a better place.
  23. She has amazing relationships. I REALLY approve of her wonderful husband who adores her and looks out for her – so that I don’t have to worry about that.
  24. She takes me on adventures. Now that we are older, cheap-ass trailer trash spa vacations are the kind of quality play that I have such gratitude for. When she finished her stint in the Peace Corp she invited me to come and spend a few weeks in Bali with her. I wish I hadn’t been so afraid to fly – I would have LOVED that experience with her.
  25. She lives up to her promise to support me in my marriage. Even when I whine about what I worry about or wish for, she always helps me revisit what is important and fulfilling. She took my wedding vows seriously – promising to support out journey!
  26. She and I can still play together. I love that I continue to be silly when I am around her. I love that she is silly too. I get tired of being grown up all the time… so all it takes is a phone call – “Hey – It’s your SiSSSssssTeRRRrrrrr!”
  27. Even though she says she HATES IT, she goes on ghost hunts with me, and lets me play endless episodes of “Ghost Hunters” and then, when we are done, she sleeps with ME so I am not scared by myself all night long…
  28. She tosses Ambacrombie out for the night so I don’t have to sleep with big spiders… and she is willing to even chase after the crickets too!
  29. She never complains about playing Wahoo or Canasta, even when I get mad and threaten to quit playing games with her when she beats my ass and gives me a “nee Nee” look!
  30. She has all kind of fun food ideas – and when I stay with her I get to try all kinds of things. She makes her own yogurt – who does that? I didn’t even know about making yogurt or cream cheese. She finds all the cool gadgets for the kitchen that I always have to run out and get when I return home!
  31. Monica is brilliant. BRILLIANT in everything.
  32. She is beautiful. I know she was a total raga-muffin when she was little. She carried in all kinds of dirt and scruff. She couldn’t go 2 minutes with a proper hair-do when she was young. But she is so unique and beautiful… every time I see her I am just blown away.
  33. Some believe the name Monica to be from the Latin ‘moneo’ to advise, warn, counsel; or from the Greek ‘monos, monè’, meaning alone, unique, solitary- I think they fit.
  34. Monica is my mermaid companion. We we spent so much of our lives creating and living dramas with our barbies or in the pool, or when camping, or visiting grandma. I am grateful for those memories with her.
  35. Monica is my sister. Wise, beautiful, faithful, tender, creative, playful… It was one of the best gifts I have been given… little sister.


3 Responses to “Little Sister”

  1. Anonymous on April 18th, 2009 9:13 pm

    Enenin, Wete, Eve,
    What a beautiful, inspiring post! I am sure your sister is rolling in joy and feeling so lucky to have you as her only sister. I recall telling you many times that you were Monica’s roll model. She always looked up to you, and imitated what ever you were doing or wanted to do. You are truly soul mates. I, as your mother, feel so blessed for the communion that exist between you two. It is a privilege, a gift granted to few people on this planet. I love you, both.

  2. Anonymous on April 18th, 2009 9:58 pm

    By the way, I forgot to tell you that those pictures brought last of memories. It is been a long time since I see them. Where did you get them from?

  3. Monica on April 19th, 2009 12:56 am

    Wow. That is the best birthday present EVER. It brought tears to my eyes. That was really beautiful, Evelyn. And I love the pictures. The “Here Comes Trouble” was my FAVORITE T-shirt of ALL TIME. (That and “Why Be Normal?” — I wonder if there’s a photo of that one around, too.)

    Thank you. You totally made my day.

    By the way, Michael finally dragged me out of the house after 1:00 to have a mellow birthday celebration: lunch at Iron Grill, 1.5 rounds of golf at Golf ‘n Stuff, a movie at the Loft (“The Great Buck Howard”) and I had to have a slice of Coconut Cream Cake at Something Sweet. I shouldn’t be eating sugar, but it’s my birthday! I still have to blow out a candle and make a wish.

    I love you. And thank you, again.