I have three sisters, all younger than me. I love them all, and always will. I know the one who has passed on is still watching and trying to tell me what I should be doing from time to time. Each of the others still do. I’ll write about each of them when the time is right, as well as about all the other members of my extended family. But right now I want to write about sisterly love.
I have a son, Andy Lester, who turned 46 today. Several people have told me he is “Your Belated Birthday Present”, as his birthday is exactly nine months after mine. I don’t attribute any truth to that story, but who knows? He and his sister, Cinda Lester, are six years apart, as Cinda is six years from Susanna, the youngest. You can attribute anything you want to that wide spacing between the three. In many ways each grew up as an “only child” due to that spacing. They were rarely competing for the same toys, friends, or other things that kids closer in age fuss over.
Naturally, each of the three had issues with the other ones at times, as you expect. But there was also a lot of caring, and care taking by each of the older ones in each pair. I’ve not thought about a lot of it, partly because they didn’t live with me much of the time. I’d tend to hear about problems or frustrations in letters or phone calls rather than the nice things that each older sibling did for the next one down.
Tonight I read a Facebook posting that Cinda made about her older brother Andy on his birthday today. He hadn’t seen it, so I just read it to him on the phone when I called to wish him a happy 46th birthday. Anyway, it is a great bit of family history, and also is full of love and respect.
Today is my brother Andy Lester‘s birthday. He is now nearer to 50 than to 40. In my mind my brother is perpetually in his 20s. My brother taught me algebra, from his desk phone at Just Pants. My brother taught me the complete lyrics of “30,000 Pounds of Bananas” when I was 5 years old. My brother taught me how to wash dishes and cook on the stove. My brother bought me my first records – The Best of Blondie, Abba Greatest Hits, and Nick Gilder’s 45 of “Hot Child In The City” (b-side “Backstreet Noise”). My brother taught me that driving 20 miles for a Slurpee is perfectly acceptable. My brother taught me that riding the Tidal Wave a bunch of times in a row won’t make you throw up, though you think it might. My brother taught me how to collect your change in the smallest denominations, roll down the window, pull up to the tollbooth, toss the change, hit the bucket, and roll up the window, without stopping, while driving a stick, with a burger in your hand and a large diet coke in your lap. These are good things. xoxo
All of this is as she wrote it, except for my addition of links to 30,000 Pounds of Bananas, Slurpee, and the Tidal Wave.