When I was about 8 and she was about 3, my sister bit me in the stomach. Hard. Not enough to draw blood, but then, she was too smart for that, even at 3. And when I complained of this filial abuse, our mother replied, "You're the oldest; you're supposed to be above that." Score one for Liz.
We had a rocky time of it for a long time. I was always older and wiser; she was always prettier and more adorable. Our paternal grandfather (the smiling gent in this snap) used to say, "You we had to chase around the room for a hug. Your sister? She was a big, fat, slobbering bundle of love."
The bundle of love is taller than me now, and thinner, and still much, much prettier, dammit. But these things are not what make her remarkable. What is most extraordinary about my sister is her willingness to try...and try...and try again. To overcome the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, to strike out past the safe but dreadful boundaries we were taught to live within, to bravely go where no Sexton or Weinrott has gone before: to the Truth, and the very heart of it.
She hauled my sorry, 'fraidy ass to the hospital when I was too stubborn to admit I was dying. She was there without question when the other kind of love crumbled to bits in my hands. She is my rock; she is my family-family, or all that is left of it when the rest have died or worse, left us to twist slowly and alone in the wind.
And so together we stumble and fumble towards a relationship that neither of us was raised to have but that both of us hope to achieve someday.
Somehow, I have a feeling we will get there.