I remember the first time I ever spoke to my only sister.
She was 10 and I was 29. It was on the telephone, and I
think we were both quite nervous. She didn't say too much
at all. I would talk and she would say, "yes", "mmm hmmm",
etc. I assumed she was very shy. After about 10 minutes
I asked Erin if she would like to talk to her 11 year old
nephew Daniel. After I put Daniel on the phone I couldn't
help but chuckle. Daniel was saying, "yes", "mmm hmmm", etc,
while Erin talked and talked. I realized just how much of
a generation gap there was between my sister and I.
I only met my sister twice in person. The first time was
when Erin was 12. It was Boxing Day and she had flown in.
There was a snow storm, but I didn't care. I drove through
blinding snow to meet my sister. I refused to wait another
day. We didn't have alot in common with our age difference,
but that didn't matter to me. I had always desperately wanted
a sister. Don't get me wrong, I loved my brothers. But
being raised with three boys makes a little girl dream of
having that bond only a sister can provide.
The next, and last, time I saw Erin she was 16. She had matured
into this graceful, sleek, exquisite creature. She was breathtaking.
We sat out in the hot tub together, just the two of us. We had the
conversation I had waited my lifetime to have. We giggled about boys,
exchanged political viewpoints, bitched about parents, all the things
sisters talk about we shared that afternoon. I remember looking at
her as the sun danced highlights in her hair, and thinking ' it took
so long to have you, but you were worth the wait'. If I had written a
script for the perfect sister, Erin would have surpassed it.
I did not know that would be the last time I would ever see her.
For a time I felt so very cheated. But time has a way of bringing
perspective to even the most painful of times. I do not have a
treasure chest full of Erin memories. I have very few. But what
I do have is so clear in my mind. I remember almost every word we
ever spoke. And, when I close my eyes, I see the perfect image
that was Erin Colleen Berry, my most beloved sister, and I thank
whatever Higher Power that might exist, for the honour of being
her sister, for the few and precious memories I will carry with me always.