Big Sister! Mom?

Yesterday, I received a text from my sister that said the following:

I am sure you are so busy, you do not have time to write a blog now😍. I really enjoyed reading them. You are so talented in so many different ways!! You are gifted!! I love you so very much!!

This made my day and at the same time made me feel as if I had completely neglected calling my sister as of late. One month ago, I embarked on a new job at a Florist shop. I still have a part-time preschool job that I’ve had for 24 years, but i had always wanted to learn more about flower arrangements so an extremely nice acquaintance took a leap of faith and hired me and thats why my sister expressed that I probably did not have time to write a blog right now.
So, let me tell the story of my sister and a much younger little sister….. My mom was 40 when she gave birth to an 8 pound 12 oz. ME! One of my brothers was 13 and the other brother, 15 and my sister at that time was 17. That particular day of my birth, my brothers were where they usually were in the summer and that was in Barnesville, NC helping my granddaddy crop tobacco along with every other teenager in the area. It’s just what you did then to help out. My sister for many summers prior to this one would have also been working in the fields and living with my grandparents to help them out, but this particular summer she had a job as a candy striper (nursing aid) in a hospital in Raleigh, the town we grew up in.
My sister, helped my mom out after my mom brought me home from the hospital and by that I mean she helped my mom immensely. I believe now the experts would say that my mom had postpartum depression, because my sister quite often she has said was the one getting up to give me a bottle in the middle of the night. I was the only child my mom did not breast feed, and at 40, with 3 teenagers I’m sure she decided against it. So that allowed my sister to be the one that helped care for me. My mom had suffered a tumultuous couple of years. Two years prior at 38, she had suffered a miscarriage and also found out that my father had been having an affair which ended that year. I used to think I was that late in life baby that just popped up, but my mom always told me that she indeed desperately wanted a baby after having the miscarriage. Was she trying to save a marriage? Did she need to feel loved? I don’t know, but my sister has always said that she loved me from the start and had moved the bassinet into her room that was beside my parents room. That’s when the bonding began……
As a child, I adored all of my siblings but especially my sister and my brother Paul, the one that was 13 when I was born. From the start, I lived in a very grown world. Having much older siblings that were teens brought many people in and out of the house all the time and enough baby sitters that my parents never had to hire anyone. Even when my siblings started going on dates, if they were the one that was looking after me that day or evening, then I had to go on the date with them. Many a date, to a drive’ in movie, I was asleep in the back seat of the car 🚗 with my thumb in my mouth. I was a thumb sucker until the age of 5. Yikes!

My sister, began dating her husband, when I was 2. I now 💕 love him as if he were my brother, but I’ve been told that I gave him a fit and was not excited about the fact that he would come and take my sister away on a date. I’ve also been told that I would lay on the floor crying in front of the door trying to prevent their exit. It took me many years to accept him not because he wasn’t a great guy, but of course because he took my sister’s attention away from me. I was very spoiled by my whole family. Never ever, monetarily spoiled because trust me there was never ever a penny extra but I was spoiled by my parents and sister and brothers because in their eyes, I could do no wrong……. My sister married when I was 3, and I was, of course the flower girl. There is the sweetest picture of my sister bending down and I dropping a few pieces of rice on her head right before she and husband left for their honeymoon. They have been married many many years and he continues to be a terrific brother in law as well as the most caring, intelligent, nicest individuals you could ever meet.

When I was 7, my mom went to work, and I began spending every summer with my sister ad her husband and her kids in Boca Raton Florida, where her husband was employed as an engineer for IBM. Oh the life! They had a pool! We went to the Beach! They had a boat! They had kids in the neighborhood that i loved playing with! She bought all of my favorite foods! They had no air condition…….. ok, well that was a bit of an issue, but as a kid you just go jump in the pool. I loved my summers at my sisters but my niece who is 6 years younger than I, was not happy sharing the attention. She admits it to this day but has apologized many times for being resistant to share her mom. We are very close today. I spent every summer with her until I was 13, and so, she had a built in baby sitter in the summers! At 12, my sister went into the hospital for a week, and a long recovery at home, but I was in my element with her betty Crocker red and white cookbook, I planned meals, thawed out roasts, did everything I had watched my sister do. Cooked, cleaned, cared for her kids, washed clothes, and had a hot meal for her family on the table every night. The best grown-up training a preteen could have. My brother in law always said, that he knew that marrying my sister meant that he was getting a little sister in the deal and I will never ever be able to thank them enough for the wonderful summers and the chance of a somewhat normalcy in my life. I always missed my parents during the summer. My mom would come down for a week on her vacation to Boca but I would stay the entire summer. My parents would put me on a direct flight to Miami and even at 8, I would travel with the assistance of the flight attendant to my summer fun.

My sister, now lives an hour and a half away from me, and as life, happens, I do not get up to see her as much as I should. Why do we get caught up in our hectic lives and let, work, and life just happen without stopping occasionally to just pick up the phone to call the people that are the most important in our lives just to say, Hi I’ve been thinking of you today.

Well, sister Judy, as you open up your email this morning and see that your little sister had the time this morning at 5 a.m. to write a blog and decided that due to your extremely meaningful message from yesterday, that the blog would have to be about my sister that has always loved me to the moon and back and back again. About 25 years ago, I read that Jack Nicholson had Discovered that the woman he had for years believed was his sister, turned out to be his mother.. I thought, OMgosh!??? Could my sister, be my mom?? We look very very similar, and only the boys looked like our mom. She loves me so much, but so does my mom. I never ever saw a pic of my mom pregnant…. hmmmmm. So I called her one day and said as one of my favorite child hood books state…..

“ARE YOU MY MOTHER???????”

She exclaimed, WHAT?????? No, I’m not your mom, geez where did that come from???? I said well I just started thinking. She quickly said, I felt like your mom sometimes, but I’m most definitely not your mother…..

Now, my sister, complimented me yesterday on being talented, but she has never taken credit for her talents. My sister has always been one of the most talented seamstresses that I’ve ever known. Growing up we did not have a lot of money. My dad worked for Eastern Airlines, but there were 4 kids and a mortgage, and cars and etc, and I’m sure a mistress could be expensive, plus expensive clothes for my dad but not for us, you read the bitterness in that statement……so I digress, my sister made her clothes and made many of mine. She ended up having a sewing business where she made anything and everything. Wedding dresses, men’s suits, costumes for plays etc. On top of that she is a master gardener. She could take the deadest plant in the yard and breath life back into it until it sprouted and grew.

I want to thank my big sister Judy, for taking care of me from the day I was home from the hospital as a baby, to the summers in Florida, to caring for my kids when my husband and I vacationed, to taking care of me after foot surgery, and for the endless devotion ad love she has given me. She has always been there for me in prayer, thoughts and love. My life gets busy as do others, with two part time jobs, twin grandsons down the street. Two kids etc but you are in my prayers daily, and forever my ‘JUDY’.

 

As you have tended your plants over the years, you first cared for me, fed me, clothed me, loved me, and I am forever grateful for you giving me roots, morals, wisdom, laughs etc, and my greatest regret is that I do not tell you enough. Love you…..

One of my favorite pics. My sister and I getting ready to model for a store in Raleigh. She taught me how to stand!

 

 

16 thoughts on “Big Sister! Mom?

  1. love this beautiful testament to your sister.thankyou Maria! I miss seeing you. You are such an uplifting person to people!

  2. I loved reading this! It surely made me feel the same about my loving sister. Thanks for sharing.

  3. As the 7th child born to a 42 year old mother, I can relate to an older sister who took me with her many places people usually thought she was my mother. My older brothers and sisters tried to “boss” me around. I was definitely spoiled and really much closer to my nieces and nephews who were my age that I played with and grew up with. We are exceptionally close. The funny thing is now my older sisters and brothers are pretty darn great!

  4. I loved this blog, my mom is amazing! Thanks for sharing such sweet memories and hey, sorry about being a brat when I was little, I really did love when you came to stay. I remember us both sitting in that black pleather chair while watching the price is right😊

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