on the occasion of you publishing a poem
2016-04-04 11:29 a.m.
My older sister sent around a poem she wrote and had published. I struggle so hard with our relationship. I love her so much but she is impossible to be around (for me). Other people find her charming and quirky and entertaining and fun.
Reading that poem clued me into one of the reasons I find it tough. I was the first of my father's second family. She has never accepted this second family as having anything to do with her. The hard part is that for years, my sister was a second mom to me. I loved her so fiercely. Her wedding was bitter abandonment. I was ten years old, three days post-surgery. I danced enough to scare my mother about my stitches and then cried hard alone in the bathroom of the wedding venue.
While my oldest brother was dying, my sister, my half-sister, had begun referring to my mother as her stepmother. My brother had never allowed that kind of talk, even in jest. He didn't allow me even in anger to call her my half-sister. My sister tried to get a minute alone with "the three of them" to say goodbye to him. She growled at me that she wanted to be alone with her brothers.
That's what this was all about. Since I was born.
She wasn't shaking me to have this dramatic goodbye. She wept on his chest. Fortunately, he was unconscious. My other older brother completed the circle of three. My oldest brother didn't complain. He couldn't. I rolled my eyes in the corner. I wasn't part of this club. I just wanted her to be a good big sister, I said. I realized she could never be. I realized she didn't want to be. I realized it wasn't about me. It was about what I meant to her original family.
The nurse had asked me if I wanted to kick her out. He had been so overwhelmed by her presence and the nurses knew he didn't want her there. I couldn't bring myself to do that even though by not banishing her, I felt like I was letting my brother down. Not protecting him.
She had her moment and she left. I made everyone leave so he could have some peace. I slept in the corner. I woke up and looked at the clock. I didn't check on my brother. I woke up again. It was six am. My brother was dead.