“Having a sister is like having a best friend you can’t get rid of. You know whatever you do, they’ll still be there.” ~ Amy Li
Happy Birthday Sugar!
Today would have been my sister’s 38th birthday. It is crazy to think she would have been approaching forty, and I know full well if she was alive today I would be teasing her mercilessly for it, because that is just how we rolled. It has been twelve and a half years now, and while I know she would not be the same person I knew at 25, that she would have been if she had lived to be 38, because lord knows we all change and grow, hopefully for the better, but I would like to think that her attitude on age would have stayed the same. That age is just a number. And I can picture her being fiercely, authentically her and excited to age, maybe with gray hair, or perhaps she would maybe have decided to finally dye it, since she never did, she left that to me!
Birthdays, much like death days, are filled with so much emotion no matter how much time has gone passed. Time does not heal all wounds, but rather it teaches us how to work through the pain, but irregardless of that, no matter how MUCH time has passed, we still get stabbing bursts of it, often times when we least expect it. But as I have written before, I wouldn’t want it any other way. THAT is the price, both a gift and a curse of love, and the true tragedy would be to shut yourself off from love in order to avoid pain, because we can’t have one without the other, but love truly is our greatest most precious gift. And despite everything I will always be forever grateful for my sister’s love, her unwavering friendship, her, at times, unsolicited guidance, and quick wit, her zest for adventure which she always tried to include me on, her laughter, and her hugs, which were love itself.
Let’s Go for a Run
There are so many memories that run through my mind like a book, each one a chapter, that fills the novel of our sisterhood. One of my favorite, though not going to lie, perhaps a most painful memory is when my sister had the bright idea to run the Golden Gate Bridge when we were visiting our Aunt in San Francisco. We had made the three mile round trip trek the day before and as both of us were avid runners, she thought it would be fun to run it. I didn’t disagree with her. It would definitely be fun to knock it off the list.
Alas, what my darling sister failed to tell me was that we were going to RUN there, from the top of Russian Hill where my Aunt lived at the time, which was about three miles away, run OVER the bridge and THEN run BACK! That was a heck of a lot of running! Don’t get me wrong, I ran a lot even back then, so I wasn’t afraid to run, but I was on vacation mode and I wanted quick and easy. Not difficult and hilly. Hiking is for hills. Running is for relative flatness.
As we began running, I asked my sister if we were going to cab it to the bridge and then run back. She looked at me and laughed. Of course not! We were running there and back.
I might Kill you
Oh lord, I thought. Several expletives ran through my mind, but I was already along for the run, and my competitive nature would not let me turn back so I kept going, my sister enjoying this a little to much at my expense as we ran through Chrissy Field before finally making it to the bridge. Thankfully, it was the perfectly typical San Francisco weather, that until then we hadn’t really experienced, but for a run, the overcast and foggy sky was actually a relief. We ran over the bridge to the rest area that is set up there (Brooklyn Bridge take note please!) and turned back. We were an hour + into the run and it was beginning to get dark out. We had also already way over exceeded the five miles I thought it would be. By this time, my poor aunt who also thought it would be a short run, was beginning to worry. What was worse, not only had darkness fallen, but we ended up lost on the way back, and now EVERY expletive was running through my head, as well as some unkind thoughts for what my sister got me into!
Meanwhile, my sister was just laughing her ass off enjoying this whole adventure.
Perhaps the most comical moment, which also happened to be several streets PAST where our aunt lived, was when we got lost and found ourself on what I called the crazy street which is also known as Lombard Street and a San Francisco landmark. It zig-zags down a steep hill and yes, cars actually do drive down it. We realized we were only a couple blocks away from my aunt’s place and after running down that crazy hill, we arrived back, tired exhausted and having run 14 miles.
Where’s My T-Shirt?
And I didn’t even get a flipping t-shirt! NOR did I get documentation, because in an era right before iPhones and selfies became the rage, we had flip phones, and didn’t stop to document it which is both a bad AND good thing, as it probably would have prolonged the whole run.
Not going to lie, at the time I was seriously ready to disown her. Or strangle her or throw her into the bay. Or all of the above. But then again, THAT is the epitome of sisterhood. We didn’t always get along, or agree all the time, but we always had each others backs, even when it was a lame brained totally Jacquie move, going full speed ahead without thinking it through and of course, I still tagged along for the ride because when it came down to it we were sisters in crime and that is a bond that can’t ever be broken, nor can it ever be replaced. It is a once in a life time relationship, because there is and always will be one Jacquie. We are all unique and so are the relationships we have with every person that comes into our life.
It is memories like this, that make me laugh and smile when I think of her, and maybe, also, kinda cringe in pain. (I don’t think my quad muscles have ever been the same since!) It was never a dull moment with Jacquie around, that is for sure. And I won’t lie and say I don’t wonder about the what-ifs, the memories we would have made in the last twelve and a half years if she hadn’t been killed. I have a feeling some of them would have been crazy, because that was just the type of person she was, adventurous, fearless, and yes a little impetuous and zany. Because that was my big sister, and no doubt I still would have followed her and joined right along with her.
SO Sugar, I hope you are up there NOT running an impromptu marathon (unless you want to) but dancing and having the best time celebrating your 38th birthday. Love and miss you always. Happy Birthday in heaven big sis! <3
P.s. I am still bitter I didn’t get a t-shirt isn’t that why we do races?