Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Sibling(s) (05/01/08)
TITLE: My Dear Big Sister
By Helen Dowd
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If only I could say the words that in my heart are stinging.
If only WORDS could bring you back: you'd hear me break out singing.
For years I wanted to write this letter. I wanted to tell you how proud I always was of you. You were so talented. You had a voice like an angel; you were an artist; you were pretty; you were popular. You were all the things I was not…. I didn't envy you for these things. And I did everything I could to try to be like you, but it seemed I could never quite make it.
You and May were pals, being only fourteen months apart in age; Eva and Ruth--'the little kids'--although they were always scrapping, were buddies. And of course, Hugh, being the only boy, was everyone's favorite. He was so easy going and laid back. Then there was ME—the middle one, the "odd one-one-out." I could never do anything right. I tried! Believe me, I tried! But the more effort I put into emulating you, the more I would mess things up. Take the time you sent me to the store for sanitary napkins. (I was eleven. You were fifteen.) I didn't know what sanitary napkins were. Avoiding the true explanation, you informed me, "Well, they are something like Kleenex." When I got to the store I had already forgotten what you had sent me for, but I did remember the "Kleenex" part; so I came home with a box of Kleenex. Were you ever mad! At least I thought you were. I found out later that you and May and Mom had a good laugh about it..…Remember that time I saw you with a boy, and told Mom? You never forgave me for that, did you?
Then we grew up. Maybe now we could be friends? But again it seemed I messed up. The five of us siblings drove across the country to your wedding. I offered to decorate your wedding cake. You were delighted, and so was I. Finally maybe I would have the chance do something right. Well! Wouldn't you know it? I blew that too. When I took the cakes out of the container, they all fell apart, and it was the night before your wedding.
Well, you and I did something together for a change--shed buckets of tears. Now what? Thankfully your husband-to-be came to the rescue. He went to a nearby bakery; and as if, just waiting for him, was a wedding cake not picked up, because someone else's wedding had fallen through. He saved the day. But that didn't redeem me--in my eyes. Why couldn't I ever do anything right?
Years passed. We all went our separate ways: you and your husband to Africa; May, to pursue her missionary work in another country; Hugh, Eva and Ruth all married and went their separate ways.
The next time I saw you was when you came with your family, two girls and two boys, to see us. We had a great visit that time. The children were delightful. And I actually don't think I did anything stupid. At last, maybe the gap between us may be bridged!
But we didn't have a chance. You went back to Senegal. We were a continents apart again.
Then there was that summer that you and your family came again to visit. It was wonderful. Later that same year my husband and I drove across four provinces to have a visit with you. We all had so much fun together. I felt that maybe I was getting close to being on an even par with you.
But then it happened. You and your husband were killed in a car accident a month after that wonderful visit. I would never see you again.
I know you will never get to read this letter. I don't know what "the dead in Christ" know; but if you do know about happenings down here on earth, I think, dear sister, that you would be pleased with me. You would be happy to know that I have become a published author…. You would have liked my book. The ending chapter would have brought tears to your eyes, memories about Mom's suffering, and about her untimely death by breast cancer. You were a great inspiration to me in writing this book.
Thanks for being my big sister. I love you very much.
Your little sister.
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