what it means to be sisters for life
We grew up in a time of innocence, when front doors were not locked and bolted. Where neighbors watched each others kids play up and down the street. Coffee was shared over the back fences. Sundays were for barbecues and get togethers. Life for us kids was nothing to worry about, but having fun. If we got into fights, it was generally among ourselves.
Being sisters made that relatively easy. Dorothy and I would always gang up on our little sister, Laurie, the latter being a pain in the neck. Looking back I believe we were jealous of Laurie, and how she would manipulate our parents.
I was two years older than Dorothy, we were soul mates. We did everything together, including holding hands between the twin beds and swinging our arms as we went to sleep. Nothing or nobody came between us. We tried hard to keep Laurie out of our room.
We "hated" our little sister, who was five years younger than me. We often spoke in secrets of how nice it would be without her hanging around, that would come back to haunt us.
Laurie was an angel, never doing anything wrong in our parents’ eyes. Boy, what she would do when they were not around, and brother, what trouble she would cause for us. Typical little sister stuff, throwing the toys around, spilling that cup of milk on the counter, or watching television when she was supposed to be taking a nap.
For three little girls, we did have a lot of fun. Swimming in the summer, biking around the block after dinner or roller skating. Climbing the big Mango tree in the back yard or helping Daddy cut the grass on Saturdays. Church on Sundays, with our Mother. We had a swing set with a slide, Dorothy and I would take turns pushing each other, or seeing who could swing the highest. Laurie was too little to join in with us, at least that is what we tried to get away with telling her, she would get so frustrated that she would run to Mom and cry, "Sissy, don't want to play with me." Daddy would let us know that we were older, and we had to set a good example for Laurie. There were times when we could go to the movies on Saturdays, without the little she devil, as we used to call her.
We were a family and my parents did everything together as one. I feel lucky in that respect, I grew up in a family unit. Sundays we went to see our grandparents, and sometimes they would come and see us.
As I mentioned earlier, Dorothy and I were always secretly discussing ways to get rid of our little sister. I believe that Laurie was about six, before she started school, we had gone for our usual bike ride after dinner and before dusk. It was during the summer vacation, hot and sticky. Laurie rode between Dorothy in the lead position, and I bringing up the rear.
At that time there was a clearance of about two inches between the sidewalk and grass. Just wide enough for Laurie's bike tire to slide into at the right angle, and stop her bikes’ forward movement. Unfortunetly, for Laurie, her forward movement didn't stop and she went head first over the handle bars. Smacking her head against the concrete sidewalk. Splat... I heard that awful crunch sound, I screamed, "Dorothy! Stop, get back here." Laurie was out cold, unconscious. I tried to lift her head, nothing happened. I told Dorothy to ride home and get Daddy, I would stay with Laurie. I cradled Laurie's head in my lap, I didn't know what else to do, and I was scared. I didn't understand how this could happen.
It seemed like along time before I saw my father come running through a neighbors yard. He looked at Laurie, I tried to tell him what happened. He picked Laurie up and carried her home. When I got to the house, I had to take home her bike and mine, my parents were putting Laurie in the station wagon to go to the hospital. Dorothy was standing there crying, saying something to the fact that she thought Laurie might be dead. The thought made my skin crawl; I told her she was crazy.
The drive to the hospital was very fast, and very quiet. Dorothy and I sat in the very back of that now big wagon. Looking at Mom sitting in the back seat with Laurie's head in her lap, stroking her hair. We had to wait in the car, because we were not old enough to go inside the emergency room. Dorothy and I waited for what to us seemed like forever.
It was dark outside now, only the reflection of the street light gave us a little comfort. We prayed that God would bring her back, we promised to love her and not to play tricks on her, to let her join in our games. We cried, we were terrified, we were little girls.
Finally, my father came out to get us. What torture for us to be in that car all that time and not know what was going on. They told Mom and Dad that we could sit in the waiting room with them. That was alot better, there was light, and our parents. Then the doctor came out to see us. Laurie would be alright in a couple of days, she had a concussion. She would have to stay in the hospital to be looked after. Our grandfather heard that she wasn't eating like she should be, stopped and picked her up a hamburger from Burger King with a milk shake, he fed it to her.
Laurie came home from the hospital a couple of days later. As we had promised God in our prayers, we tried very hard to keep each promise we had made.
The valuable lesson we learned that day, was that being sisters, was the biggest job we had in our lives. To love each other, despite our differences, to cherish each other, and to stand for each other when there is no one else. We were, and are sisters for life. Today, we struggle to teach our own children that valuable lesson, we learned so long ago.