I always wanted a sister. Always, that is, until I got one.
My sister is technically my step-sister. My mom and her dad married when I was in middle school. Every third weekend for our teenage years was spent sleeping on the same trundle bed in what used to be just my room. Luckily, we had similar likes and interests, and bonded over things like high school theater and alt rock bands and boys.
Part of me resented that I had to share my space with her, but the bigger part of me was glad to finally have another girl in the house. (I have two brothers and she does as well.) She was more than a friend. She really was the closest thing I had to a sister.
Shortly after college, her dad and my mom split up. We tried to keep in touch, but it was too hard. We were old enough to know the divorce had nothing to do with us, but young enough to think we had any control over the situation.
Years went by. Eventually my mom sold her house and with it, the room we shared. Memories were being made without each other.
Every few years, I would try to track her down. Once I sent her an e-mail and learned she was working very close to where I was working. But we did not meet.
As the years passed, she also looked me up from time to time. She knew when my brother got married. Then she learned when my other brother got married. When it was finally my turn, she read online that I, too, had gotten married.
Then one day out of the blue, she looked me up and found the very first article I ever wrote. It was about the birth of my daughter who was born still. She was stunned. Shocked and sad and filled with grief. She sent me an email and tried to reconnect. Enough was enough.
First we became pen pals. We lived less than an hour away, but it was easier to email than to meet up in person. She followed my personal blog and after any monumental post, she would send me a note to let me know she was thinking of me. When we had a fundraiser a few years later to help with the adoption costs, she donated money. She asked if we could meet. Still grieving and an emotional wreck, I was not ready.
And then I was. One day I just was.
I took more time getting ready to meet her than I had for my prom. I drove to the restaurant early. I practiced what I would say to her in the rear view mirror of my car.
Neither of us said a word when we first saw each other. We just held each other tight and hugged and hugged and hugged.
With her 10-week-old son on her lap and my infant daughter in the high chair next to me, we sat and talked for hours. We talked about our families and our pasts. We talked about the present. We shared stories and dreams, just like we did back when we were girls. We relived old memories and laughed at so many shared memories. We cried a bit, too. We could not catch up fast enough. The time was finally right and it was so amazing.
It still is amazing. We meet up several times a year and our kids play together. Our husbands hang out together. And us? Well, we always hug so very hard and promise to never ever let go.
I always wanted a sister. I am so glad that I have one.