Yesterday was my little sister Branda’s 37th birthday. We don’t get to hang out very often. We both have jobs to do during the day, kids who need our attention during the brief hours of evening before bed. Weekends are busy with kids’ birthday parties, grocery store trips, a precious Saturday morning workout – your one-hour a week of ‘me time.’
There was a time when she lived in Ohio and I lived in California. Later, I came back to Ohio and she moved to Arizona. Now we live 5 minutes away from each other.
We briefly considered watching the Golden Globes together so we could drink wine and dish on what people were wearing on the red carpet.
“They don’t even start until 8:30 and it’s a school night and the kids need baths tonight too.”
“Yeah, probably not gonna work. Maybe when the kids are older.”
I was out of town for her birthday yesterday.
Even as I try to write this, Greta is pecking me with a stuffed owl and begging me to play Barbies with her, and Magnus is bringing his entire stuffed animal collection down to the kitchen to attack his new stuffed lizard. I imagine the same is going on at her house.
I’ve always liked this poem about sisters by Grace Paley. Happy birthday Bran. I love you.
I needed to talk to my sister…
I needed to talk to my sister
talk to her on the telephone I mean
just as I used to every morning
in the evening too whenever the
grandchildren said a sentence that
clasped both our hearts
I called her phone rang four times
you can imagine my breath stopped then
there was a terrible telephonic noise
a voice said this number is no
longer in use how wonderful I
thought I can
call again they have not yet assigned
her number to another person despite
two years of absence due to death.