I have a sister. Her name is Lydia Slaby because she married her high school sweetheart. I usually call her Chiquita or my daughter’s name. It all depends on how much sleep I have gotten. She is 2 years, one month, and five days younger than I am. I do not have any memories of my life without her.
When she laughs, her nose wrinkles - not just around the nose, but somehow on the nose, like a lion. I pointed this out to her and she tells me that my nose does the same thing. Which, yes, it does… and yes, I have more wrinkles, because yes, I am older…. which she also pointed out to me.
She spent time in her 20s and early 30s collecting experiences and diplomas with signatures on them from institutions. She is qualified as a person to do specialized work in the world of power suits and expense accounts. Then, when I was in Germany doing treatments, she is diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Then she has one crazy surgery. A year later she has another EMERGENCY crazy surgery. Suddenly, her world of power suits doesn’t look the same and neither does her marriage.
I am not sure what it means to become human, but for certain she is no longer an unconscious control freak, as she illustrates so beautifully in this piece. When the control freak might sneak into the driver’s seat occasionally, she has a sense of humor about it when called out (especially so when her high school sweetheart is in the vicinity).
In summary, I am grateful. I am grateful that she is alive (which was a little touch and go for a while). I am grateful she doesn’t flinch when I talk about God. I am grateful she taught me about putting mayo on cheesy bread to bring it to a higher level of awesome. I am grateful she has moved to Rhinebeck (incredibly so). I am grateful she washes my daughter’s hair and chases my son with a giraffe puppet. I am grateful she wrote a beautiful book - a book I think everyone should read.
I am hopeful I will never have a memory of my life without her in it.