The world was better when you were here.—KSR.
~~~On your birthday, April 11, my dear sister, I will not mention the murder, the mourning, the loneliness, or how much I miss you. I will only focus on a few of my favorite memories of our special times together.
For instance, the way I’d prepare two months ahead of time for your birthday buying candles smelling of cinnamon, butterscotch, brownies, & cappuccino. I’d wrap each one delicately in pink and glittery tissue paper and you’d always know what they were before you opened the package.
“I Love them!” You’d scream. Every. Single. Time.
It never got old.
Or when we’d have our sister dates at Barnes & Noble. Remember? It became our tradition, our cultural norm. We’d select five books each, fiction & nonfiction, and meet in the café to discuss. I’d order an Americana with skim milk, you’d order a Tall Latte with Caramel drizzle. After the drinks came, we’d take turns reading the first and last paragraphs of each book.
“What do you think?” I asked about the novel, The Catcher In The Rye.
“I’d buy it.” You said. “The kid reminds me of me!”
Hey, do you remember when your friend from work, I’ve forgotten her name, but she had balls, asked to sit with us? We both looked at each other like, No Damn Waaaay, and when she pulled up a chair, you said, “I’m sorry, but this is our sister date. We have a lot to talk about.”
I liked that. No, I loved that, because usually you were a such a people pleaser.
On your 39th birthday, you were a bit out of control. “I’m sooooo old.” You said. “I’m too young to be this old.”
“Shut your mouth,” I said.
I made reservations at a nice restaurant, nevertheless; I think Belisos or someplace like that. We bought chic dresses from TJ Max, nice nylons with stitching running up the back like black, squiggly veins, and sexy heeled shoes. You birthday used to cost me lots of money!
When we went out, we’d typically order chicken wings with extra ranch dressing and artichoke dip with those little slices of crusty bread. And plenty of pink, pretty cosmopolitans.
At 39, we didn’t worry as much about our weight, our thighs, our asses. We’d savor our food, lick the sauces off our fingers, and talk about kids, goals, life, God, and we’d argue about politics because you were a huge Republican, and of course, I wasn’t.
But mostly, we’d laugh.
When you were away from “him” you laughed. A lot. Did you know that?
On this particular 39th birthday, you wore a highlighted hairpiece. How could we ever forget that incredibly, delicious detail. Truly, your hair was very Breakfast at Tiffany’s elegant.
For a while, anyways.
“I got to go to the bathroom.” You said.
“Well, Gooo then,” I said, “Geeeeze.”
When you returned, your hairpiece was gone.
“What the hell?” I said.
We started searching on the floor like two morons. You went back to the bathroom to search in the stalls, the sinks, the toilets. My silky, beautiful nylons had dusty scrapes on both knees. You could never be normal, could you? I mean, something like this continually happened when you were around. Things would get lost or found or you’d lose half your hair! That was part of the fun, what I miss the most.
After a while, our waiter—an adorable, dark college boy walked up with a tray balanced on one hand. Even through his chocolaty pigment, I observed his face was flush, rosy. He was smiling, but not smiling.
“Ma’am, “ he said.
Son-of-a-bitch, I thought. Now, we’re Maams’.
He moved his tray closer to us, “Is this item, um, yours?”
I kid you not; on his tray rested Kay’s hairpiece like a dead, highlighted rat.
He did not lift it up or touch the dead rat. He just stood there staring at us with these big brown, impenetrable eyes while we snorted and laughed until we almost peed our pants. By the way, I think you did pee your pants, Victory Secret, as I recall. Since you were now pushing 40, things like this, I had heard, started to happen.
This is what I want BACK…
The layers of sisterhood, the root of the root, the heart of the heart, the secrets only sisters tell other sisters.
I promised I wouldn’t mention the missing & the mourning, but dammit, your loss, your absence, your murder is part of who I am now— interwoven acutely into my muscles and organs and bones.
You are still, yes, still, some of the best parts of me.
—I hope the angels realize what they have.
*******My sister, Kay Marie Sisto, loved some of these charities below. For her birthday, will you consider donating to one in her name?********
Thank you so much. xxX ( All the places below are in Duluth, Minnesota. )
- The Duluth Zoo: http://www.lszooduluth.org/support/donate/
- Men As Peacemakers: http://www.menaspeacemakers.org/donate
- Safe Haven: http://safehavenshelter.org/getinvolved/give/cash/
- Animal Allies: https://givemn.org/organization/Animalallies
*********For my darling sister, Kay.*********
~~Dancing in The Sky: