I have one sister. She is younger than I am, and the baby of the family. She is 2 years and 8 months younger than me, with my brother squeezed in the middle. We were not close as children. We have very different personalities. She was extremely active and always on the go, getting into everything and constantly getting us into trouble. She was always taking my stuff and I was very possessive about MY stuff. I was a very good student and Joanne couldn’t have cared less about school. My mother had to lock the door in the morning to get her to get on the bus to go to school. I know she had a terribly hard time in school because the nuns in school always compared her to me and my brother, who was also a good student. She had good reason to resent me.
We didn’t go to the same high school, which was just as well. I went to one of the Catholic girls’ schools in the city and she went to the local public high school. She could be her own person there. She still didn’t do well but at least she wasn’t constantly compared to me. However, she did wear my clothes to school. I left before she went to school and wore uniforms. She raided my closet after I left.
We didn’t become close until after we had grown up and gotten married and had children of our own and wanted our children to be close. After all, they were cousins. Then we sort of put all the past behind us and became better friends. And our friendship grew as our children grew and we consulted with each other about what to do with them. We were both single moms. She had it tougher than I did. I admire the way she got through it all and raised her kids and her kids appreciate her. Mine does not.
Now we’re both grandmothers. I’m the older grandmother. She has more grandchildren and is the grandmother I wish I could be but I’m just not. She makes Halloween costumes and babysits and drives 400 miles with her ex-husband to go to a birthday party for a grandchild. She’s a super grandma. I’m fortunate to have her for a sister. I never thought I would say that when I was 16, but at 62 I’m glad to have such a wonderful sister.