Flashback Friday

11 02 2011

This first photo is one of my sister, Chris, and me. She is 13 months older than me, and until she got married at the ancient age of 19, we shared much of our lives, both awake and asleep. No matter how many times I said she wasn’t, for the first 10 or 12 years, she WAS the boss of me. And, in our hearts, we both thought that was the way it was supposed to be…

Then we entered the treacherous teen years.  Rather than describe how our relationship changed in the words I would use today, I thought I would share some brief excerpts from my diaries, spring 1977…

April 25: I think that was a really low thing to do. I’ve always had so much faith in Chris’ character, that something like this really gets under my skin! Oh! What a hypocrite!…One hour later: I guess maybe I just judged Chris too soon. I think that at least part of her reasoning was good…

April 26:  Today I decided Chris is just one of those people who fall right into luck, and its always good. As Dad would put it, “She’s one of those people who could fall in a pool of @#$* and come up smelling like roses”, whereas I could fall in a pool of @#^* and just end up smelling like it…At the school board meeting tonight Mom and Dad talked to Mr. Z. He told them that he was glad Chris was tapped into honor society. Then he said that I didn’t lack the ability to get good grades. He stressed the fact that I just don’t work up to my potential. I wouldn’t give it a second thought if it weren’t true and I did try. As it is, I know I don’t. I just sort of laze through it all. That’s part of the reason I don’t like myself too well. I have only a super-tiny bit of self-respect.

May 2: I just read a book called The Middle Sister. It was about a girl who wasn’t pretty, didn’t have any special talents, was shy, and afraid to be herself. So far it fits me to a “t”. She had an older sister who everyone liked, and who was talented at almost everything she did…Its uncanny, the feelings of, well, resentment that Ruth (in the book) felt are about the same as the way I feel about Chris. How can you love someone as much as I do Chris and still feel jealous of their abilities, talents, personalities?

This post, clearly, says much more about me than it does about Chris. Obviously, I spent a lot of time in my teen years thinking about Chris and comparing myself to her! I’m pretty sure Chris was mostly aware of my jealousy and the way my own insecurities caused me to lash out at her. It was rough. More to the point, I was terribly rough on her, as I was on myself.

I am happy to report, though, that post-adolescence has been kind to our sisterly relationship. I still have great faith in Chris’ character, and I still stand in awe of her talents, generous heart, and ability to cultivate lasting relationships. Luckily, she also has quite a capacity for forgiveness! Chris is amazing, and I am so the one who fell into good luck (or heavenly grace) by having her presence and example in my life.

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One response

11 02 2011
Chris in NM

Aww Jen…
No warning needed when you are going to beso sweet! Ad I’m sorry for the wasted years of strife between us. But glad for the friendship that now exists.

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