Thursday, October 11, 2012

I Am Not My Sister, and My Sister Was Not Me

I miss you, today more than usual.  I don't know why, but I do.  I really want to talk to you, just because it's been one of those days.  I've thought about you, and growing up, and our family.  Not in a bad way, or a sad way; more a matter of fact way.
Sisters have such a complex relationship, filled with love and competition, closeness even when you can hurt each other desperately.  Maybe it's true with all siblings, no matter the gender, and maybe it doesn't happen for all sisters, but I know for us, this was the case.  To complicate matters further, there was that rough patch after Dad's death, and those years of feeling more like mother and less like sister to you that made us even closer (at least I think so- and you can't disagree  :P ).
People always compared us, as they do most siblings and relatives.  Genetically, we are a mix of our various ancestors, and share "parts" with our whole family tree.  I have Dad's build, but Mom's nose, Dad's thick hair, but with Mom's color; you have Mom's build, and more of Dad's hair color, but with his smile and her hair texture.  We're like one of those cooking challenge shows, where everyone starts out with the same ingredients, but end up with wildly different meals.  And that's OK.
For a while after you were gone, I heard comparisons of us everywhere; some where verbalized as comparisons, some were statements that my mind- in its mourning- read more meaning into than was meant.  "She was so pretty/kind/smart/funny/compassionate."  "You two were so similar/different/complementary."  I cherished and hated those conversations so much.  The differences made me feel inferior, as I wondered if people would remember me so kindly some day, but also a little comforting- every difference between us meant one less chance for our paths to end the same.  The traits we shared had just the opposite effect; I sighed with relief that maybe I was just as good as you, but terrified that our fates would be shared, too.  
My rational brain knows that all this is not logical, but I'll be d@mned if my heart would listen to reason.  For some reason, that's been changing lately, and that's a good thing.
I'll never be the same as you, nor better or worse, because we are different people.  Same ingredients, different recipe. You're the chocolate truffle brownies, and I'm the ganache covered cake.  It may have felt like it at the time, but I didn't die that day, and I didn't lose myself; I lost a big piece, but it was still only a piece.  Even an amputation heals after the loss, although there might be phantom pain for quite some time.  I love you, I've lost you, I'll always feel your presence, but I will heal.  I am healing.  I wish you could have found healing, too, but I'm glad you're no longer in pain, and wish you would have sought the help you needed at the time. 
I may be my sister's keeper, but I am not my sister.  Peace and blessings be with you always, Kimmy.


  1. I'm here from ICLW ... this is a beautiful post and analysis of your relationship with your sister. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  2. Visiting from ICLW - I'm sorry for your loss. This is a lovely letter to your sister.