My mom says there were plans to give me a sibling, but when my dad was killed when I was 18 months old that sort of put a stop to that. The hot air and memories of Texas drove my mom out, to higher, drier ground. To Boulder, Colorado. I was 3 and so once we were settled in a cute little house with the previous owners hunting dogs and ducks curtains I was enrolled in Boulder Montessori School. Such a simple thing to do, enroll your kid in preschool. Sometimes I think “what would have happened if mom chose a different preschool?” Thank God she didn’t. In choosing that school I was given the greatest blessing; a sibling.
Immediately I met Heather. Our parents joke that we were twins born 3 months and 1,000 miles apart. They’re not wrong. I believe strongly in twin ESP because although Heather is not my twin we have always been able to read each others mind, finish each others thoughts, feel when one is hurt. There was a time in college when we went our ways, no anger or anything, it’s hard to find out who you are when who you are is half of a whole. Whenever we met back up at home for Christmas we would find out we were working in the same store, taking the same classes, living the same lives…it was weird and awesome.
I had a single mother, Heather’s mother was my mother’s best friend. Her father was on his own journey so at the time of our growing up he was mostly gone. Unless we were giggling late and night and woke him up. That my friends, was the scariest thing ever. So Heather and I met our mirror images and I think so did our mothers. We made our own family. Hannukah at Heather’s house, Christmas at mine. Yeah, Heather and I like to make it easy on mom by actually putting our pillows on the tree skirt and sleeping under the tree. Sorry mom. I don’t have many childhood memories without her. I don’t have many memories in adulthood without her. When she moved to LA and we were all together it was perfect. I’ve never been so happy. Then we got pregnant at the same time and it was like every childhood Let’s Pretend game ever. My nephew is 6 days older than Max. It couldn’t have been more perfect. We moved away from Heather when Max was ten weeks old. I prayed until the last minute that something would save me. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done, our kids were supposed to grow up together like we did. We were supposed to have family dinners every week. Heather told me that she, Ammar and Isaiah had been looking to move into the same neighborhood we were in before we moved.
I am still heartbroken. I still can’t believe it and I still think someday we will all be together again.
But life goes on. Our first month apart Heather and I texted over 500 times. We quickly moved to an unlimited texting plan. Eventually I gave into the fact that I actually live here, away from her. I like it here, I really do and it’s better for the my kids here. But living without my sister is hard. I always say I have a sister, because I do. I may not have been born to her family or her to mine, but she’s more than a best friend. She is my sister.
Today is her birthday and I am not there. I’m not there to go to our favorite cheap-o LA nail place then hit Aroma Cafe or Poquito Mas for lunch. I’m not there to make her a cake or give her her present. I’m not there to tell her in person how I can’t live without her. How much I love her. It hurts a lot.
There’s a big party in her honor, as there should be! She’s amazing, she’s perfect in my eyes. I won’t be at her party. I won’t get to raise a glass to her turning 29 (again) But we’ve been sisters long enough for me to know that even though I am not there in person she knows I’m there.
I miss you Heather, I love you, I can’t live without my sister. I hope you have the happiest birthday ever and when you blow out the candles I hope you get whatever your heart desires.
Happy Birthday. T.S.I.S.
(BTW this picture is from my 8th(?) birthday. Please note how lovely and put together Heather looks. I am a hot mess.
It so that way.