Today is my little sister’s birthday. She is officially forty-nine years old. She would kill me if she knew I was telling the world about her rapidly approaching entry into old age but I have no worries. Kelly announced months ago, she will never read this piece of crap blog again. If I recall, it had something to do with me being a big, fat, liar and a moron. We often call one another pet names like that. Anyway, just to set the record straight, anything I say on this blog about her, I would say to her face. In fact, most of the time if I have not already said it to her, I make sure to call and read the post to her if for no other reason, to annoy the holy snot out of her. Sisters are the best!
I have already told a story here and there about my youngest sister but today, in honor of her birthday, I want to tell the truth about how I really feel about her.
I remember when she was born, as if it were only forty-nine years ago. I was three and the idea of having a real, live baby doll to play with was better than Christmas to me. The first time I saw Kelly, she was lying on my parent’s bed. I crawled up on the bed and laid down on my stomach so I could stare at her face. I remember kissing her over and over again, amazed at how delicious she smelled….like freshly baked sugar cookies.
A few years later, we had become the best of friends. My whole world consisted of Kelly. She was the one I wanted to play with, swim with, eat and sleep with. We shared a room with twin beds but many a night we would crawl into one bed and play word games. Our giggling would eventually bring our father down the hall to announce, “You girls better go to sleep before you get into trouble.” Our poor parents had no idea how much trouble we would cause them in just a few short years. Oh yeah…..we were outlaws in the making. Bad news. A parent’s worst nightmare. Ok, not really, but we were kind of bad teenagers.
Once we made it to our teen years, things changed. Kelly was extremely popular. She had an outgoing personality and everybody loved her. It was easy to love her. She was cute and bubbly and the life of every party. I, on the other hand, was moody and brooding. I had friends but not like Kelly. I was unsure of myself, feeling insecure and ugly for most of my teen years. I avoided parties and instead, made some very poor choices getting myself into trouble on a regular basis. Kelly accepted that life was good and did well. I was constantly waiting for the ax to fall on my chicken head. Amazingly, Kelly thought I was cool and wanted nothing more than to hang out with me. I pushed her away, jealous of her ability to breeze through life while I felt every day was a struggle. We began to grow apart due to my ugliness towards her.
I married at eighteen and had a life altering encounter with God at nineteen. One of the first things I did was attempt to repair my relationship with Kelly. It wasn’t easy. We had grown apart and trust had been damaged. Through the years, we would grow closer and then fight like two monkeys on the same banana. I suppose you could definitely call it a love/hate relationship. We both seemed to love to hate each other.
Then, almost twelve years ago, Kelly was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was thought to be benign but later would be proven to be cancer. Over the last twelve years, the cancer has spread. She has had five brain surgeries, uncountable doses of radiation and chemo. She had a total hip replacement and another brain surgery just in the last two years. Kelly has gone through more than I could have ever imagined my baby sister would ever have to endure. It has been unbearable to watch at times. Yet, through it all, she fights. She fights to smile and live and laugh and go on. She has been trapped in her bed for the last few years and yet her lifelong friends still make the trip to spend weekends together. They lay in bed, eating and watching movies and laughing. Nothing has changed. Kelly is still the life of the party even if it is a smaller group and confined to her bedroom.
Kelly and I grew very close when her first brain tumor was discovered. I spent months at a time staying with her. This went on for years and our relationship grew and changed and was more than I could have ever hoped for. Until last year. Last year Kelly and I had a major disagreement over one of my children. She felt she was doing something helpful. I felt she was interfering. It went very bad very fast. We have not spoken much over the last year. When we have called one another, it has almost always ended in yelling and crying along with name calling. It’s like being teenagers all over again only this time we have everything to lose and no parents to stop the madness.
A few weeks ago, a truce was called. We have found a common enemy. Sisterhood is an amazing thing. I can tell you what a dill weed Kelly is and she can tell you what an ignorant moron I am, but God help the fool that tries to pit us against one another. Oh yeah…..it’s on!
So, all that to say, “Happy Birthday, Dill Weed. I love you like a younger, demented sister and I’m glad you are still here to drive me out of my freaking mind. I just wish you still smelled like freshly baked sugar cookies. I’m just saying…..”