It’s been a month that you’ve gone now. Up & flew away to start your new life in Ottawa. When you told me several months ago, of the plan to move to Ottawa to be near G&M and the grandkids, I was so thrilled for you, knowing how much you miss them all, knowing how important it will be for everyone to have this time together. It didn’t hit me until much later, when my joy for you at starting this new chapter in your life turned bittersweet: You are leaving me.
Have I told you lately that I love you? I haven’t told you enough.
My earliest memory of you is when I was maybe 4, and you had come home for a visit. You were twentyish, beautiful and smart, and you had brought a radio-8-track player with you, that you hooked up in our bedroom. We had music to fall asleep to….what a concept! Throughout my childhood, I would visit you wherever you lived; it was a holiday for me being with you, a time filled with going to the park, listening to cool music, eating multi-coloured popcorn, listening to your stories of learning to drive in your girlfriend’s convertible, rooting through your cosmetics, staying with you all day at the cleaners where you worked and where you taught me to jive.
Later, when I was trying the rebellious teenager shoes on for size, you were there to smooth things over with Mom & Dad. You gave me refuge when things seemed impossible, rescuing me by saying you needed me to babysit Ti-G, and that I would probably have to sleep over because you’d be late. Not only did you create some breathing room for all of us, but I got to finally play big sister, after cursing at being the youngest for so long.
As I became a young woman, you gave me perspectives, a different way of looking at things….I have so many memories of you and I sitting, drinking coffee & smoking, then later on, just drinking coffee. And talking, talking, talking. You shared in my joys as I found work, got married, had my children. The years passed, and I found strength in you to cross difficult times. Knowing that in your eyes, you saw me as David who slew Goliath still fills me with courage when I need it.
The past few years have seen us as two women entering different phases of our lives, sometimes not quite getting what the other is going through, but loving each other fiercely all the same. I could never have gotten through grief, divorce, a broken heart, motherhood, and becoming an adult if I didn’t have you. You continue to inspire me, you give me so much to look forward to. It’s thanks to you that I have a positive outlook on getting older……I know that a woman gets better, brighter, stronger and smarter with age, and when I look at you, I can’t wait to turn 50! Beautiful & smart twentysomethings become gorgeous, intelligent fiftysomethings…….
Things I can’t forget: laughing together til we cried (and almost peeing our pants) …..Playing Stars On 45 in your living room & singing & dancing along……when you talk about your son, his wife, their children, and how you become completely transformed…..working in Dad’s store……all the talks we had through the years, the serious ones, the silly ones……The Sound of Music…….driving in the wrong direction on one way streets (you’re driving, I’m laughing!)…….when I would get in trouble, you were there to balance things out, finding humour in the situation (even if nobody else was laughing), risking the wrath of Mom (brave & crazy, that’s what you were, lol!)…..your own struggles and disappointments in life, the ones I could see happening before my eyes, the ones I didn’t hear about until much later, the ones that I still don’t know about…..going to DQ or to the beach with you & Ti-G in your green Scamp….your generous heart, always giving more than what you have, always (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree)……listening to you weave your magic as you told me stories of when you were growing up, of being on your own, of life as a mother, as a woman…..
Our age difference made it impossible to share sisterly things while growing up……but I think we made up for it. I am not ready for you to be gone. You told me the other day, sitting at the coffee shop, that you’re glad that you’re leaving at this time, for me, when I have found my true companion. That it’s good timing. But no, I’m not happy that you’re leaving me at this time in my life…..you’ve known me as a girl struggling to be herself, making big mistakes and you helped her get up again for round two. Now that I have real joy and true love in my life with Mr. C., now that I know what it’s like to be loved, you won’t be around to see your little sister shine.
My beautiful, radiant big sister, you have been so much more for me than I could ever be for you. You’ve taught me patience, perserverance, generosity, and especially to hold my head high in the face of adversity. ”Think of Jackie O”, you would tell me.
You have been a mother to me, a fairy godmother, indulging, caring, reassuring. And you’ve always made me laugh through my tears. I know that you’re not leaving ME, you’re going towards a new life with those you love. And I wish you all the good things that life in Ottawa will bring. G&M are very fortunate to have you and Mr. Tranchemontagne close to them now, and I know that they will show their gratefulness to you in very unique ways. Because you’ve raised a fine man, dear Sister.
I felt like laying down in front of your car so that you couldn’t leave….. but I didn’t. Knowing our luck, you would’ve accidentally driven right over me!
(and remember, sieve is pronounced s-i-v-e, not s-e-e-v-e……but that’s ok, when I see the name “Givenchy”, in my head I STILL say “Give-INCH-ee”…..).
Avec beaucoup d’amour,
Ta p’tite soeur xoxoxoxo