However, I have two sisters. Jamie is three years younger and has Down Syndrome, so our relationship has remained relatively unchanged throughout the years even though the physical distance between us has grown.
Pam, however, is eight years younger than I am, and our relationship has always been fluid.
I can never really remember ever playing with Pam. By default, she always kind of played by herself or with neighborhood friends her own age. But I always knew she was around. For one, when she was little, she would collect rocks and stuff them into her sunsuit so that you could hear the swish/swish, rattle/rattle of her coming through the house.
She was only ten when I graduated from high school and went off to college, and I remember her having to come and watch my tennis matches (whether she wanted to or not). In the summers when I wasn’t doing my own thing, I would catch up on her life. She fell in love with gymnastics after watching Olga Korbut in the 1972 Olympics, so she would do cartwheels from the car to the grocery store door—in 103 degree heat—on the parking lot asphalt!
We started actually doing things together when I worked at San Diego State. She came down for Easter vacation and I took her to Balboa Park where we did a bit of roller blading (neither of us knowing how to stop), and then later crossed the border to Tijuana and went for a taxi ride that could have marked the end of our short lives, and ended the day by buying lots of junk.
When she turned sixteen, I took her on a road trip to visit our great aunt in Washington state. Pam had just secured her driver’s license, so I gave her a couple of tries at the wheel. One up an off ramp and a failed attempt at passing on a bridge and I took back the reins and we haven’t taken a road trip together since! Well, not alone. But in the past ten years we have taken a Mediterranean cruise, gone to New York, and met for weekend getaways.
Our relationship morphed once again in 2014 when she sent me a link to the Aspiring Writers Competition with a note that said, “You might want to try this.” You can credit that email for giving me a second career, publishing six books, and writing this blog today. She believes in me and continues to help me navigate the publishing and marketing world. She tells me what I need to do . . . and sometimes I do it.
Sisters are very special, and my sister is the most remarkable, talented, and giving person I know. I love her dearly and feel very fortunate to be able to call her––my sister.