‘A perfect sister I am not, but oh so grateful for the one I’ve got.’ I consider myself very lucky to have my older sister Trish. We have an awesome relationship as far as sisters go. We fought like siblings do when we shared our room together. I used to hate it when she read her late night novels & needed the lamp on, so I’d make a darkened cubby house using my dressing gown tucked into her mattress on the top bunk. She still loves to stay up late and sleep in whereas I loved my sleep & wake early. She’d take advantage of me and make me drive her car home from Dapto Leagues Club after she’d had too much to drink (& she sometimes wouldn’t come home with me, leaving me to tell mum where she was). She was always someone I strived to be like. I chose her subjects at school thinking I’d do well in those too, but boy was I wrong – the fact was I really didn’t want to be at school. We shared clothes and makeup, and had the same friends and listened to the same music and songs that we’d tape from the radio. She always tells me that my memory is better than hers and I’m grateful to have them all. We got engaged within a month of each other and married our partners only a year apart.
Future generations of ‘family’ started with my daughter Amy, then came Trisha’s twins James & Mark, then I had Rachel and Benjamin, Paul, Jacob and Luke followed to join the crew. During this period was when the true sisterhood journey took our sibling relationship to another level. We rang each other everyday (as we still do today) as we worried about breastfeeding, rashes, teething, miscarriages, tantrums and the overwhelming feeling of ‘are we doing ok as mums.’ Our lives together as family has been captured over hours of footage on film. So many memories captured on the Super 8 films with no sound and hours and hours on vhs tapes which have now been converted onto DVD. Still so many more moments to capture and so many that we never want to forget, cherished memories of those who are not still with us in the physical sense but are deeply rooted in our hearts.
It’s when those sad memories come to the surface of the mind and leak out as tears on your face when I counted on my sister the most. She accompanied Jacob & I to many treatments, appointments, scans and blood tests sharing the load of driving to Sydney and back and kept me company overnight in motels while Jacob was admitted and cheered me up with wine, cheese, crackers and avocado as it’s always ‘5 o’clock somewhere.’
Trish has shared my tears, made me laugh, listened to me whinge and scream about life being so unfair at times. She shared my joy of Jacob’s remission and shared my sorrow when we heard the news from the drs on Daffodil Day that there’s nothing more they can do to cure him of the disease. We talked about the dreams we had for our children, their future careers, where they’d travel, the engagements, weddings and baby showers to plan. She has an awesome wardrobe of clothes that I pick and choose what I’d like to wear to various functions in all different colours and styles like the ever-changing seasons. She has the tendency to buy things on the spur of the moment where I seem to be a bit frugal with my spending. Luckily we are different and yet the same in many ways – I’m on time and Trish is nearly always 15mins late, I like white wine and bubbles and Trish prefers red and we enjoy each other’s company even when nothing is being said, we are content to just ‘be’ in each other’s presence.
So today as I open my eyes on Easter morning, I am grateful to be spending the day at my sister’s home in Jamberoo with family. We will have way too much food and sit around during the afternoon and veg out in a food coma, conversations all happening at once and no one really getting heard, taking family photos of the unfolding Easter egg hunt with a beautiful backdrop of green trees and blue skies of a country coastal town. Coming over to my sisters place is like having a mini pamper day, a zone out time from the hustle bustle end of a busy working week and where I get to relax and put my feet up. I hope all the sisters in the world (even all the soul sisters out there without a biological one who find each other) are as lucky as me to have such a relationship that I have with mine – for my girls Amy and Rachel, for my mum and her sister Hazel and for my nieces Isla and Aerin – the best present our parents ever gave us is each other.
Sisters are for sharing laughter and wiping tears. Thanks Trish for doing all of the above. I don’t know what I’d do without you in my life x (sorry Stephen 😉 I owe you a brother story one day too)