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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: In-Law(s) (05/08/08)

TITLE: Worthless Brother Becomes Hero
By Marilyn Schnepp


It never changed or deviated; whether it was "Blowing out the Birthday candles, 'Throwing a penny in the Wishing Well,' or 'Making a wish on a falling star'" - it was ALWAYS the same. "Please, give me a sister!"

However, by the time I started blowing out birthday candles in double digit numbers, I realized my dreams, wishes, hopes and prayers had been ignored by both my Heavenly Father and my earthly parents.

To my parents credit, however, they didn't leave me siblingless. They were kind enough to offer up a substitute, a replacement of sorts, in the form of a BIG disappointment! And I do mean "big" with an exclamation mark.

Their substitute was utterly useless when it came to playing dolls, cutting out paper dolls, hostessing a tea party for Teddy Bears, or dressing up in mama's high heels and picture hats.

In fact, this substitution of theirs only knew how to play Cowboys and Indians, Cops and Robbers, how to run trains around a track, build 'Tinker-Toys', and hunt frogs, spiders and worms and go fishing! Yuck!

As time went by, however, we put away these childish things. He put away his cars and trucks and began making model airplanes, playing baseball and flirting with the girls. I put away my paper dolls, hopscotch and jump rope, and concentrated on hair styles, color coordinated clothes and guys. But once again, he showed himself to be completely inadequate, knowing zilch, zero, nada and zip about braiding hair, stylish clothes, girl talk, or how to etch in a sudsy eyebrow.

But suddenly everything changed!

On my 18th birthday an unbelievable event took place. My every wish, dream and desire was gift wrapped and handed to me on a silver platter by the most unlikely person on planet Earth...that incomparable, heretofore, useless and worthless substitute, called brother!

My brother stood in front of a minister, at an altar, and with MY "birthday present" at his side, he vowed to "Love, Honor and Cherish" my sister-in-law Laura "Till Death do us part." And presented me with my lifelong wish...a real live, honest to goodness sister!

Laura, of course, arrived too late to play dolls, dress up and tea parties, but she made up for it tenfold by her love, friendship, advice, girl talk, beauty tips and stuff that makes sisterhood special.

She even has a great sense of humor and laughed aloud when I handed her a "Sympathy Card" on her wedding day - which I signed, "With My deepest Sympathy."

Laura was the most accomplished and talented person I'd ever known. She played piano, sang, baked, sewed, did oil paintings and made beautiful knit sweaters. I loved her like the sister I'd never had...and my brother was one lucky guy!

Yes, when I blew out all my pink and white candles on my birthday cake that day...I knew that at 6:PM that evening, in a Chapel on Highland Avenue, my wish for a sister would at last come true.

Laura and I chat often via Ma Bell, as they live in another state, and she never fails to cheer me up when I am down, or to give me advice when I need it, and always leaves me chuckling or in stitches of laughter by the time we hang up...and, I adore her!

I owe my brother an apology for bad-mouthing him, for in actuality, if it weren't for him - I'd still be sisterless.

My apologies, big bro, you're a genuine, bona fide gem!

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Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/15/08
I really loved the gentle humor in this sweet story of getting a "sister" via a heretofore unimportant brother. Just one small suggestion: In the paragraph describing Laura, it would be better to put the verbs in present tense.
Sylvia Hensel 05/15/08
I love this story. Well told and quite funny.
Lyn Churchyard05/16/08
Great story, enjoyable from start to finish. It took 18 years to get a sister, but you certainly seemed to have found one worth keeping.
Helen Dowd05/23/08
What a delightful story, and so well told, with suspense all the way through. What is this writer getting at? How is this on the topic of in-law? Well, it was! And so uniquely developed, leading to a surprise ending...I LOVED it....And thanks for your comment on my RAINBOW BRIDGE....Helen
Marilyn Schnepp 08/23/09
Just a note explaining why I didn't describe Laura in present terms - as my beloved sister-in-law Laura passed away...but did not want to reveal it in this Writing Challenge.
Helen Dowd08/23/09
Well, Marilyn, after having received such a welcome "Private Message", I just had to come back and read your story again--the one you mentioned in your PM. And I loved your story all over again. You have such a unique way of bringing out intrigue and "wonder", by your story telling....Thanks for your note. Good to "talk" with you again...Blessings...Helen