Saturday, January 18, 2014

Wee Blisses



My sister and I talked on the phone for nearly 2 hours yesterday. I now get a cheap rate to Ireland of 5c a minute on my mobile. Ridiculous really. I love talking with my sister. My only sister who is nearly 14 years younger than me.

I'd given up hoping for one when all those boys started to arrive in our house. So had my mother. So had my father. When she was born somewhere around midnight on March 1st 195*, my taciturn father, a man who showed very little emotion and only cried once in my presence, burst into my bedroom in the small hours of the morning and could not contain himself: "It's a girl, it's a girl!" I didn't believe him. I had to see her.

And she was beautiful. I couldn't get over her. My mother (who was ill for a long time afterwards) and I mothered her. And dressed her in gorgeous clothes. I would knit her little jackets and Mum would make her dresses and we would clap our hands and exclaim to each other how simply lovely she was, how clever, how her blonde curly hair went to her waist in such a way Shirley Temple should be worried. I would take her in to high school with me and show her off. And yes, everyone was envious. They still remember it.

To this day, my sister never has had self-esteem problems and is a fabulous mother to 4 herself. When I think happy homes I think: my sister's place. She and her husband live in a very old house in Cork, one with rambling halls and back kitchens and an old conservatory and a big kitchen where everyone helps to cook and dance to silly music when they're doing it. She never stands on ceremony and I've seen her huge old table in the kitchen have two circles of chairs around it, the more agile eating on their laps and everyone talking at once. She has that way about her.

The sweetest thing among very many sweet things she says to me: "Your room is always here, WWW. Your room here has your name on the door. Always."

And one of the best things? Grandgirl and her friend are staying with my sister for a while this summer as they backpack Europe.

I get such a ridiculous charge out of calling my young sister "Great-Aunt."

22 comments:

  1. Baby sisters are worth their weight in gold. I remember very well the day mine was born and what a big event that was. I helped raise her until I got married and I think my mother did a very bad job after that. :)

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  2. Irene:
    After my mother died my youngest brother and my sister, then young teenagers came to stay with my family in Canada. We had a healing time and I will always remember it.
    Yes, wee sisters are treasures.
    XO
    WWW

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  3. I love this...
    Reminds me of my youngest daughter. 14 years between her and my oldest.
    Thought my baby days were over
    and then at 33 years of age
    pregnant with this one.
    She has been the biggest blessing to me continually and can only say this to you - would not want her older 2 sisters to read this
    but I think they already know it.
    When I went through a divorce at 40 the older 2 girls in college
    and it was me, this little one
    and my special son...

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  4. Lovely.
    I adore my sisters, one of whom is nine years younger than me.
    Re self-esteem, we should all be adored by doting siblings, parents and/or grandparents and there would be peace on earth! :)

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  5. OWJ:

    So happy for you that your youngest is so kind to her momma and so special.

    And I won't tell anyone!

    XO
    WWW

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  6. SJG:

    I've often thought that. If we were all adored unconditionally from the moment of birth there would be peace on earth indeed. We would be sufficient unto ourselves and not want anyone else's "stuff".

    XO
    WWW

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  7. Oh that's a lovely story of a much loved sister.
    You wrote it so beautifully and the photo is lovely!
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

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  8. What a lovely photograph. What is it about black and white photos?

    Patrick Lichfield said 'Colour describes; black and white reveals'

    But, like to everything else, I would add 'sometimes'.

    I like the idea of showers an hair washing not being daily any more... but I don't think I could keep to your 'Regular as clockwork' regime.

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  9. I have brothers who are 15 years younger and I had a similar sister/mother role with them. Your relationship with your baby sister is lovely.

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  10. That sounds like a great relationship. I do love people like that who don't stand on ceremony but just invite people in and get them all chattering about every subject under the sun.

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  11. I got a double deal when it came to baby sisters - mine are twins. Though my brother helped raise one and I the other, both girls are now my best friends :)

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  12. Hi George and welcome,

    The regime/routine thing sort of happened and it's been a huge surprise to hippie old me.

    XO
    WWW

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  13. SAW:

    These young'uns seem like our children to have fun with and none of the serious responsibility. I've had much the same thing with my granddaughter.
    XO
    WWW

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  14. Nick:

    yes, that's my sister, and to some degree myself too. I love entertaining diverse groups of people.

    XO
    WWW

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  15. Oh Pauline, that's so lovely!!

    Twins!! Double the joy!!

    XO
    WWW

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  16. Hattie:

    In feel so rich having her in my life:)

    XO
    WWW

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  17. Nothing like communicating with siblings. I have just returned from a visit to my brother's home in Chennai where I was joined by another brother from London and the three of us landed up at our youngest sibling, a sister to be smothered in love and food. Floating around with my brother's grand sons was a bonus as was being escorted everywhere by my son and daughter in law who too had gone with me.

    My battery is now fully charged and will last till the next reunion.

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  18. What a lovely way to feel, especially about your own sister, I only have that feeling for a close friend, who lives in the USA, I only have one brother, and his wife makes it very clear that only her family are really welcome, but only on her invitation! Not once in 40 years, have I ever had an invite to Sunday lunch, or any other kind of meal.
    So it warms my heart to read your post.

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  20. i am really enjoying reading my way down through your blog on this wild and windy evening in Ireland, especially this story about your sister..I am one of eight and remember how us older girls were allowed to choose names when my two younger sisters were born after a six year gap. (the boys of the family were not seen as fit to make such an important descision) yes we were very politically incorrect back then :)

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