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Sister to Sister and Blood Sister Too

posted 3/14/2008 2:00:57 PM |
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You know how a certain date can trigger something in your mind?

When I was in grade school, we were moving away from some of my friends. It was just across town, but to me it was like a million miles away.
One friend and I just knew we would never see each other again and were upset about it.

Her older brothers told her and I that if we let him use a needle to stick both of our fingers that we could hold our fingers together and our blood would mix and we would become blood sisters and we would always be close. Hey, we were both young and thought he was telling us the truth. I mean, after all he was older and knew this kind of things..He was in the fifth grade.

He didn't tell us that he would be drilling for oil with that needle... Damn, it hurt. But with bloody fingers..we placed our fingers together and knew we would always be close..Like real sisters.

We had to go in her house to clean our bloody fingers up and her Grandma wanted to know what happened to us. Being all proud of ourselves, we told her. She just sat there raising her eyebrows and nodding her head.
Ethel looked at her and said, "Look, our blood is the same color. How can it be the same color? Her skin is white and mine is brown, how come our blood is red?" Her Grandma looked at us and told us that this was something for us to both always remember. No matter who we meet, or what color their skin is, they all have the same color blood as us and it still hurts when that blood is shed. And anyone who has red blood hurts the same inside too.
Then she yelled at Terry and told him to bring his butt and that needle in the house right that second, and sent us girls back out to play.

Her words have always stayed in my mind.
Ironically, this was a few months after Martin Luther King had been killed, and it was still fresh on everyones minds. I didn't know, until many years later that was part of the reason we moved..

Ethel and I met back up in high school, but soon lost touch again. But the first day we saw each other we held up our fingers, laughed and hugged. We now knew if we needed each other we were just a phone call away.

A few years ago at work, I took a funeral arrangement order and needed some information in the obituaries. I looked at these at least a dozen times a day but that day I hadn't needed it til then. As I was looking for what I needed, my blood went cold. There, above the one I needed was Ethel's obituary.
I had heard through the grapevine that she had been in some trouble with drugs recently. In shock I called her Mom's house. Ethel had died from another coke overdose. Third one in barely over a month.

I just sat there looking at my finger, with tears streaming down my face, remembering that we were supposed to always be blood sisters and close. For the first time in many years, I missed my friend and hurt for what she must have gone through. Wondering if it could have made a difference, if we had stayed close.

Later that day, I made her an arrangement of roses for her funeral. As I placed the roses in, I intentionally pricked my finger and let the blood drip on them. It just seemed appropriate.

I was looking at the calendar a few minutes ago and as I looked at todays date, it dawned on me, this would have been her birthday. It was also one of my aunts birthdays, so it's always been easy to remember. When we were young she thought she was hot stuff because she was older than me. I wish she could have had that bragging right for many more years than she did..

But the main thing about today, is that it is also the day I lost my "Real" little sister, when she was 18. The one who was actually blood by birth. And some how it had escaped my mind until I was standing there looking at that damn calendar. Although it's been many years, I don't think I have ever allowed myself the time to actually grieve for the loss of my own little sister. Until today. Now I am seeing what kind of awful, selfish person I truly can be.. One who would block those feelings and ignore something that important, for so long. Instead of showing her the respect and love she deserved by gently putting her memory to rest, I just blocked it out. I will regret making that choice for the rest of my life. She was my baby sister, I was supposed to protect her, not push her memory away.

I don't even know the purpose of this blog, other than sometimes we get so damn consumed with the unimportant things in life and forget how important life and love truly are..We rebel against both sometimes, instead of just embracing them and enjoying what can come from them..
Neither "sister" got the chance to do that for very long.

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Mar 14 @ 2:20PM  
Life and love can be bitter-sweet and hard. You didn't forget either sister, because you are writing about them today. Laughing and crying for the same reason. You loved

them both, the same way and in different ways.

Her Grandmother offered a valuable lesson, in her wisdom and years.

I grieve for you loss, but celebrate the love you had in your "Sisters"


Mar 14 @ 2:34PM  

That was a really good blog.

I'm sorry about both of your sisters.

I totally understand about what said about feeling selfish for pushing the pain away. I do the same thing. If something isn't pleasant, I move on to something that is. I do not feel this is fair to my loved ones.

Sorry for all the tears, can't help it, but... kudos for the blog.

Hope you feel better soon

Mar 14 @ 2:43PM  
You get green.. i get tissues.

Mar 14 @ 2:56PM  
you know CL there is a saying sister of my heart sister of family. The sister of your heart earned your love she was your best friend. Your 'little' sister was just there. Yes you loved her, but i'm sure as little sisters are (i am one) we had to grow into our family now my sisters are very close your little sister didn't get the chance. God I hope this is coming out right.

Mar 14 @ 3:07PM  
you get another green, and I've brought more tissues to pass around. BIG Hugs to you Treas, you're not selfish, sometimes our mind buries down pain that our hearts can't handle at the time. Now you can handle it and that's why it's coming out. Doesn't mean your selfish hun, just stronger now than you were when it happened.

Mar 14 @ 4:01PM  
Now I am seeing what kind of awful, selfish person I truly can be.. One who would block those feelings and ignore something that important, for so long.

I don't see you as selfish at all. I think they call it self-preservation; the human mind is fantastic. It allows us to protect ourselves from things that could be very hurtful or damaging...until such time we can handle it. And seems to me, that's exactly what you're doing.

I am so, so very sorry for the loss of your friend - and sister.

Mar 14 @ 10:11PM  
This is a good blog, Trease!

Mar 16 @ 9:01AM  
It is a great blog about friendship,and I think you wrote it for some closure.

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Sister to Sister and Blood Sister Too