Sunday, May 4, 2008
i was always putting myself
in my sister's place, adopting
her credulousness, and even her
memories, i saw, could be made
mine. it was isobel i imagined
as the eternal heroine- never
myself. i substituted her
feelings for my own, and her
face for any face described.
whatever the author's intentions,
the heroine was my sister.
its image on the mirror
~Mavis Gallant 1964
My sister Jessica called me when we discovered Charlie had cancer. I will never forget hearing the tone in her voice when I answered the phone. It was grief stricken, it came from the core of her soul and she was hurting for me. When our dad got cancer, we were in it together . We were there for each other, always. She expressed to me that she wished she was here for me now during this time in the same way. Circumstances have changed; she lives in the bay area, is married and has two little boys to take care of. I know that she would be here with me if she could. I have no doubt about that.
About two months ago, my sister called to let us know there had been an accident where my brother-in-law Erik worked. He had broken his neck in two places, his leg and fractured his lower back. I wanted to be there for her but was unable to with what was going on with my own husband. I felt so torn. I couldn't understand why all of this was happening.
My mom went to visit my sister recently and brought my sister's birthday gift to me back with her. With everything that has happened in both of our lives, it has been very difficult to get together. The top photo is the birthday card that she had given me and the poem is what she wrote inside. As I read what she had written, I started to cry. I have always felt like she was the stronger one, and the one that I drew from. I have always felt she is a woman to be admired for her achievements and qualities... she has always been my heroine!
My sister... I love and miss her.