at my daughter's Bat Mitzvah
My sisters are two cool chicks. If I could spend every day of my life with them, it would never be enough. Unfortunately, they are in the Midwest and I have to settle for once or twice a year. But when we're together - it's a ball!
My mother had 4 kids in 5 years. We have a brother, we speak occasionally but we're not close. I feel a little bad about that - but it's more by his choice. And he's let it go on so long that - I'm sure he thinks he'd never fit into our little clique. We'd love to embrace him - but he WOULD never fit in to the sister clique.
My mother gave us all classic names. Mine is Katherine, and my sisters are Margaret and Elizabeth. Margaret always disliked her name, she found it "dumpy" so now we call her Meg. When Elizabeth was born, Meg couldn't say her name - she said Busybeth. So for her entire life she's been Busy.
I am the oldest, with Meg three years behind, and Busy another 18 months after that. Since my brother is between Meg and me, we were often referred to as Katherine, Tom, and the little girls. When we were growing up, I always felt like I was ages older than them. They were very close, and I was an outsider. But now we're just about as close as three sisters can be.
Meg is so delightful - and her life has dealt her a lousy hand. I think she's through the worst of it - and we're seeing her re emerge as the dynamic person she is. She's just out of a 20 marriage to a VERY controlling man. So controlling that he would decide what she needed to pack to go to mom's for the weekend or when her purse needed to be cleaned out. She once told me she'd never risk so much as putting a bulb in the ground - it just wouldn't be in the right spot. But that's behind her and we've got her back.
Meg is THE consummate nature lover - but especially the creepy crawly things. As a little girl she'd go after a snake or a salamander or an insect with fascination. She spent some time as a state park naturalist and part of her gig was doing the snake talks. I know she was great because she could pick up a big old snake and let it wind around her arm without flinching. And because her interest was so deep - she knew all about them (and most other indigenous creatures). She's a great storyteller with a wicked sense of humor. I can picture her at a campfire with the crowd enthralled.
Now she's a high school biology teacher in a rough district. She loves her material, but the students have very little interest in applying any effort to learning. And a lot of the kids are troublesome. She has kids in class with house arrest bracelets, she's had kids who one day didn't show up because the shot someone, she's had boys expecting multiple babies (with different moms) in the near term. But even with this, she is dedicated to trying to whet their interest. She works hard on plans and activities that might grab them. And she has a lot of living things in the room. She says - if nothing else, they all love the animals. Meg once told me that it would be best if she could have enough animals in her class that every student could hold one. When they have an animal they calm down and pay more attention. She can see the child that still exists behind these tough exteriors.
Busy is just that! She's a nurse and a mom and a barrel of laughs and my sweetheart. Busy was the baby - and she had a rough go as far as us older kids were concerned. We teased her mercilessly - called her stupid and dumb baby. Even though the adults (my parents friends) all though she was SOOOO CUTE and gave her tons of attention, our taunts did their damage. She was not a high achiever in school or in college. Her adult life started out very rough. Then one day she announced - she was going to become a nurse.
No one had a lot of confidence in her in the beginning but she showed us all in the end. I admire her so much for her commitment and accomplishment. She became a nurse, and I can imagine none better. She smart and sweet and compassionate. She must also be very patient - but I think maybe she uses that up at the hospital because she usually CLAIMS she has not patience at home. And she has the ability to work like a wild woman. She has worked two jobs and incredibly long hours. I can't imagine working as much at such a demanding vocation. She impresses the hell out of me. We talk as often as we can, by phone or IM - but no matter how much, it's never enough. And we have an unspoken pact. We never end a conversation, or chat, or even a voice message without saying "I love you!"
I have two recent stories regarding the support and friendship we share. The first has to do with that ugly 4 letter word DIET. All three of us have struggled with weight at one time or another. When we were together last summer, I was the thin one. I think I have finally mastered the religion of weight management. Meg was having a terrible time and confided in me that she had found her FAVORITE donuts at a convenience store on the way to work. I said Meg, you are stronger than a donut. You have to drive by and flip off those donuts. F**k the gd donuts! Well, we all became hysterical - and for the remainder of the evening, we enthusiastically flipped off ANYTHING that might be the least bit tempting. Wed flip off rolls or salad dressings or cake - and then just break out laughing. But we were kind of doing it on the sly, behind my mother's back. She wouldn't find it funny. But being covert made it even funnier to us. Mom would walk out of the room and we'd flip something off with gusto chanting F**k the gd (fill in the blank)!' I'm thrilled to report that since we developed our plan, Meg has lost a boatload of weight. It's beautiful.
The other story has to do with our cabin. (See The Lake below) It's still there, it's in terrible disrepair. We go out at least one time when I visit in the summer, but two summers ago we decided we had to sleep out there just so we could get up early and have coffee on the deck as the sun came up over the lake. So we did. We trooped out there with our kids and our sleeping bags and settled in with the spiders and the wood boring bees and the ants. I don't know that anyone slept all that well. But we got up to a beautiful morning. The sun was over the lake, the water crystal clear. It was a sparkly day. We sipped coffee that morning and soaked up that early sun and reveled in the company of sisters.....and then we went for a swim!
Written by sunflowerkat321 .
This entry has 1 comments:
You have such wonderful sisters, and this is a beautiful tribute to them. I hope they can read this. I have one sister, and she, like your sisters, lives far away. I never feel alone as long as I know she is somewhere sharing this earth with me. Sisters rock!!!!!!Comment from karensull12 - 1/8/04 10:11 PM
This entry has 2 comments: (Added after Meg's death..8/3/05)I see Phinney and I are on the same wavelength:) I also wanted to revisit some of your family entries. I hope all of your sisters saw these marvelous tributes.Comment from donah42 - 8/5/05 11:29 AM
I never read back this far in your journal. I am here today, looking to learn about your beloved sister. I hope this doesn't make you sad, but I wanted to seek out something to know who she was. Much love, PhinneyComment from geminiwilder - 8/4/05 12:41 AM