Every so often, I consider writing a “graphic novel” about my sister. For some reason the gap in our ages has given me meatier, and more interesting stories about her. My students are always stunned when I share something that I did to Chris. Most of the time they agree that whatever beating I received was justified.
The past three years have been (well hard is an understatement but I’m not sure what word you would use) trying. Both her son and husband committed suicide. Her grandchildren were taken from their mother, placed into a “foster” situation, and adopted by their maternal grandmother. She has worked to create additional income opportunities without gleaning the results she had hoped for. In short, she’s had a really rough time.
She has, since the death of her husband, been in a relationship. I am irrational as I’ve never met, let alone talked to, this person. Yet, I don’t like him. I don’t think he’s the person she’s meant to be with. I don’t think he’s good enough for her. I find him unattractive. In fact, I’m petty enough to say that, while he is younger than she, he looks a good 10 years older than Chris. Furthermore, I don’t think that he loves her with all his heart. If he does, it’s my opinion that he doesn’t have much of a heart. If what I casually observe is the best commitment he can make to her, she can do better. Much better.
Chris has always had a relatively hard life (at least from my observations from the outside. We don’t talk much.). Like many of us, she’s rocked the weight more than she wanted. I was very proud of her when she committed to losing it. She lost an amazing amount of weight ON HER OWN — using a calorie counting book. Shit, I’m whining about how hard it is for me to lose the 25 pounds I’ve found. I should be ashamed ’cause she walked the long, hard road on her own.
I often wonder, though, if she doesn’t carry some sort of shame about it. I’m not exaggerating when I say my sister was easily one of the most beautiful women I’d ever met. Age is a great equalizer, and I think she has to put on a face now whereas she didn’t when she was younger. However, as someone going on 50, she is incredibly pretty. I don’t know if she gets that. I worry that she is more concerned with the neck down rather than the neck up.
I remember as a teenager being so envious of her. She had dark brown hair, deep chocolate eyes, was dark-complexioned and was completely comfortable meeting new people. Maybe she wasn’t the smallest girl in the room, but there’s a lot to say for attitude, charisma, and personality. I say this sincerely, I could be rocking a body like Pamela Anderson, yet with my personality and discomfort with strangers, I would never meet anyone in a bar. She had no trouble whatsoever. Still doesn’t.
I can’t, obviously, undo any of her pain. Truthfully I know I should be supportive. Yet, each time I hear about her paramour, I send out a little hope with wings that he will disappear forever. Then, maybe, just maybe she’ll find someone deserving of her.