My sister, my friend, my Ride and Die

My sister and I weren’t very close growing up.

Just 22 months apart, but different in so many ways. We shared a bedroom most of our lives, but that was about all we shared. Looking back now…oh the time we wasted.

I had a terrible car accident my freshman year of college, and because of it I wasn’t able to return to school in January. I was devastated. As all my friends had returned to school, I fell into a deep depression. My sister was attending a local college and was living in an apartment nearby. Though we still weren’t close, she graciously invited me to hang out with her friends…so off I went in my neck brace and crutches.

She and her friends were very kind and welcoming to me. Slowly, we grew closer. Bit by bit, we learned to like each other, then talk to each other, then love one another. Why had it taken a tragedy for this to happen? Why had we wasted 19 years of not being closer?

I returned to college the next year and we grew slightly apart, but remained closer than we’d been before the accident.

Over the next few years, we slowly grew our “friendship” and by the time I moved to Florida after graduation (she was in Massachusetts) we were speaking daily.

We both went through various traumas over the next 30 years – always reaching out to the other for comfort and to bounce ideas around. We were, and still remain, each other’s biggest cheerleader. I often think of my daughter and wish that she had a sister in addition to her brother because brothers are…you know…not all that communicative. My sister has two daughters who are as close as two can be, and I’m often jealous of them for my daughter.

When I see young sisters fighting with each other I always want to interrupt and say, “No, no, you must get along. You are so lucky to have each other! Don’t waste another day.”

But I restrain myself because it’s not my business. (My mother was an only child who shouted similar comments at us when we’d fight. “You don’t know how lucky you are to have each other!”)

Who is my Ride and Die? “Elizabeth”!

Never a day goes by that I don’t think about her and know how very lucky I am to have her in my life…even over 1,100 miles apart.

As much as I hate to admit it, my mother was right all along.