Sometimes the hardest thing to do is listen to someone else. Especially for writers who already have more than a few voices in their heads clamoring for attention.
Today would have been my big sister’s birthday if she were still alive. The loss of a sibling is strange, like a piece of you is missing that you didn’t know was there until it was gone.
Memories of playing with barbies until we were old enough to be embarrassed by it…although in our scenarios Barbie was a Ho and always cheating on Ken with a hot cowboy doll someone left at our house. Later we would have guitar jam sessions for hours, pretending to be rock stars. My sister could play since she was old enough to hold a guitar awkwardly in her baby hands, by ear only. Having heard something once, she could play it back like a professional.
She was the one who came up with the greatest all time answer for those people who asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up, the only answer that made any sense to us at the time, 'a burden to society'. She was the rebel, the black sheep, the one who made fun of herself almost as much as she did everyone else.
It’s been a few years but still if I see something particularly weird or randomly funny, I think…she has got to see this. But then I remember she can’t and I feel an ache for that missing part of me that I can never get back.
Sometimes I wonder if I listened enough…loved her enough…or was I too caught up in my own life and the stories in my head that I didn’t see hers playing out? I don’t know. But I do know if I could hear her now she would say, “Hey, you got to do your own thing and screw what anyone else thinks.”
I’m listening now.
Happy Birthday, Carol.