This is a re-post from my old blog. To the people in my family who found it difficult to read, I'm sorry to put this up again. I know it can be a bit of a sensitive issue. Of all the things I've written, this is one of the things that I am uniquely proud of, and incredibly close to my heart. This was in November of 2010, and I was in New York for about 72 hours to go to the surprise 90th birthday party of George Fesko, a man who has always held the role of Grandfather to me, despite the fact that we are in no way related. I was in a unique mood the whole trip, and it was really a strange, almost out of body weekend. I don't know if I'll ever be able to do her justice, but here it is: the first time I ever met my sister.
I got to play hide and seek with my sister today. The sun was lazily making its way towards the horizon, and dissapeared behind the trees as we pulled into the cemetary. My father got out of the jeep, and I followed suit a few seconds later. I thought we were looking for his father as we started combing the rows for the name Alexander.
"She's around here somewheres..." I heard my dad mutter. Less than 48 hours in Cortland and he'd already picked up the accent again. I joined him in pacing and scouring the rows when, unexpectedly, a smile came to my lips. I was playing hide and seek with my sister.
She was born in 1981, just 3 years older than me. For the first time in my life, she became real to me, and we werent playing hide and seek anymore. I pictured her now. Tall, lean, standing a few inches above my mom.
She'd probably still live in Chapel hill, she loved the city when she went to UNC. With 30 coming in just a few months, she told me she was a little worried. She had a great job, and had a decent boyfriend who was finally able to put up with her crazy side. He got along great with Scott and my dad. Mom has her heels cooled on him, but she's warming up. I think the guy's ok, I tell her, and that she needs to stop worrying. Just because shes older and dumber than me, it's no reason for her to be worried.
She laughs, and smacks me on the arm. Really, I tell her, you're doing great. 30 is going to be just as great as 25 was, she'd see. Scott was already planning the surprise party.
She looks more like dad than any of us, but she still has mom's nose. I've always hated that she had that nice, wavy chestnut brown hair, while I got dad's curls. She looks great for 30. Shes starting to get crows feet on her eyes, but she laughs a lot, so I'd expect nothing less. I give her a big hug and a kiss on the cheek, but she grabs my arm on my way to leave.
You know Ryan, she looks at me seriously, I'm your big sis. You can talk to me about any of this stuff you're going through. Everyone is a little worried about you. We just want to make sure you're happy. I give her a smile, and a bigger hug.
Thanks Laura, I'll think about it. I'll see you on Thanksgiving, you nosy old hag.
I love you too Ryan, she says sardonically.
I took a picture of her headstone. It seemed trivial, but I wanted some proof I had been there. Dad came back from the jeep with a towel to wipe some of the dirt off.
I may not have grown up with a sister, but family is family, and we all love her more than any of us even realize. I'm glad I finally got to meet her.