Sisterly Lessons

Things I learned from my sister this weekend. (She was in town for our 30th high school reunion. And when I say 30th, I really mean 10th. Or 32nd.)

1. When you find a wooden lemon/lime reamer at the Goodwill for 26 cents, you HAVE to have it. Apparently it’s a must have for every kitchen. Who knew? (Yes, I laughed out LOUD when she said reamer. I couldn’t help it.)

2. When cleaning bottles your brother gave you from an old digging site, use warm water and a small amount of uncooked rice. Shake it for a few minutes and VOILA! Clean bottles! (Well, cleaner, anyway.)

3. When going to yard sales, thrift stores AND the Goodwill, always take along your tape measure and a magnifying glass. Just in case. (And plenty of hand-sanitizer. I’m just sayin’.)

Oh, and the most important thing I’ve learned from her?

4. When that cruel hand of fate reaches down and rips your world apart and breaks your heart, you have to live. Let’s see, how did she put it?

“You know the sun comes up in the morning. You have to push aside the blankets and just get out of bed.”

And that is what she does. She handles grief like a pro, and not long after his funeral, she said this.

“D. I can’t change what happened, and I can’t bring him back. I know in my heart that I will see him again and I have to just put on foot in front of the other and keep living.”

Now, these several years later when we get together we laugh, we shop, we compare our tiny heart tattoos, we eat sour dough bread and Brie cheese, and we sit quietly thinking about our dear one. We talk about him and re-live the events of that fateful night often.

In our own way, it’s how we are keeping him alive.

Even if it’s only in our hearts.


buffalodick said...

Sharing joy, a trying experience, or grief, with a person who understands- builds bonds that will never be broken...

As Cape Cod Turns said...

Your sister sounds awesome. Are you dragging her to Blogher too or is it too much to meet two awesome sisters at once?

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

yes, you are doing it right...

smiles, bee

and hugs, ps

cheatymoon said...

Sisters are the best.

You guys are doing just great.


Bobby G said...

MY GF and her sis are SUPER close, I have a brother, we are close too

The Half Assed Housewife said...

Amen to the hand sanitizer and the tape measure. If you're going to through all of that looking for a treasure, you might as well be able to execute...

Deb said...

-->What is a reamer? Am I the only one who didn't know what that was and is too scared to google it?


jennifer said...

just spent the weekend with a sister so I gotcha. It's weird, because I have 5 sisters, so 5 chances at that kind of closeness, but really, they don't all have the same connection with me.
am blogging about women's stuff, menopause, sista's, daughters, teens and hormones
at www.questinggirl.blogspot.com
love your blog,

Sandee said...

It's all you can do. Very well said.

Have a terrific day honey. Big hug. :)

Unknown said...

You and your family are amazingly strong and resilient.

He is alive in your hearts, minds, souls, and with you at all times.

Virginia Woolf once said;
"Arrange whatever pieces come your way." Your sister has done an amazing job of doing that.

Sandi said...

Thank God for sisters!

ladytruth said...

Sisters are just walking-talking-encylopedias-of-sometimes-unwanted-but-all-too-often-valueble-lifelessons-and-knowledge :) Grief is a tough thing and can be as cruel as a vicious animal to the soul, but it can also teach you how to pick up the pieces and feel the sun again. it was great reading your blog! ;)

blognut said...

I think I like your sister... a lot.

Sue said...

Your blog this morning I rate with a "T", for tears. I admire people like your sister! They have been give a very special role in life.

Angie Ledbetter said...

So glad you have each other! I got to spend a few days away with my twin sister, and funnily enough, we also had our sourdough bread. :)

The Renaissance Chick said...

You are my kind of girls...junkin' and drinkin'!

Your love for your sister is amazing!


Kathy B! said...

Makes me want to call my sister and tell her how much I love her. Think I will...

shrink on the couch said...

I've got one of those wooden reamers. Never knew what it was called. Now I know, thanks to your sister!

shrink on the couch said...

P.S. My 30th would have been this summer, too, if anyone had bothered to plan it. (I helped plan the 25th from 1500 miles away, so it's not like I'm one of those people who sits on their butt and expects everyone else to do the work, although I suppose right now I am one of those people).

Unknown said...

Please write me at quinn@thehiphugger.com; I have an offer for you.

Laura said...

I love sisters
my sisters
your sister
the bonds
the hearts
the brie

I am nothing without my sister
and really sad with out brie

and your sister is living the unspeakable
and wow
so inspired by her

LPC said...

Thank you for the continued reminders of how fragile life is.

darsden said...

sisters are wonderful aren't they! there are secrets only me and my sister know! They will go to the grave with both of us.

I love ya'll speak of him, that must make it hard and special at the same time. I too speak of my loss of love ones. (somebody once said I needed to get over it-UHMMM never and NEVER say that to me again. If you don't want to hear about him-LEAVE-I loved him, still do and time makes it a lil better to cope..but it is just makes life longer without him) I think it is wonderful to relive the life memories of a love one.
Good sisterly learnings too... I too laughed at the reamer!
PS...My Grandmother gave me a 3.00 dollar chair from GoodWill back in 1982, I call it my throne..of course recoved many times. But, it is the only chair I sit in at my house, and everybody KNOWs in the family, not to try to sit in it.. I loss my grandma 3 days before hurricane katrina..so it's even more special now!

darsden said...

Oh yep back again even after the short novel I wrote..forgot to tell you this coming Friday is my 30th reunion too :-)) dang I was only 9 when I graduated ;-)

Keyona said...

I always wished for a sister but God must have known differently. You are blessed. I know I am too but I just have to deal with 4 stinkin' brothers!

DKC said...

It is so special. I am lucky that I ended up with sisters - we are so close, I treasure that bond.

Remember that next time Sassy and Bitchy have a knock-down-drag-out in the living room!

Elenka said...

You post made me cry. I don't know how she does it, she's lucky she can.
So sad.

LegalMist said...

Once again, here I am laughing and crying all at once this morning.

So glad you have your sister. She sounds wonderful.

Unknown said...

you know you are adopting me, yes?

Peace - Rene

Pseudo said...

Poignant, touching. A beautiful piece that touched my heart.

With my children (17 and 20) working jobs and living their lives this summer, I have been prone to homesickness for my sisters like you would not believe. One is in California and one is in Florida.

And by California and Florida, I mean Minnesota and Kansas

*Akilah Sakai* said...

I love your sister's way of thinking.

mo.stoneskin said...

Oi, who told you I have been hanging out at yard sales?

Mrs. E said...

Ah...you make me laugh, and you make me cry! You and your sister are very brave. I think I would want to crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head, and never get out again. You are an inspiration!

Joanna Jenkins said...

I admire your sister's wisdom and insight through an impossible situation.

And i'd have loved to gone shopping with you two!


Christy said...

I'm so happy you and your sister have each other to depend on during these times. And she has such a great attitude - so admirable.

Suzy said...

My sister taught me I eat too many carbs. Also that I'm out of shape.

Teach me something I DON'T KNOW why dontcha?

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I'm just sorry that such wisdom has to come from such sadness...

#3 on the list is great advice by the way!

Maggie May said...

Your sister's way of thinking is really brilliant and she is a brave lady too.
Many thanks for the kind things you said about me on David Mcmahon's blog.

Sharon Rose said...

I don't know what my life would be like without my sister!
Maybe we share the same sister! My sister would so be all over the deals and finding a wooden lemon "reamer" at Goodwill! LOL!
It's great to have each other to hang onto and grow together from your losses.

Desert Songbird said...

As might as my sisters and I fight, I've learned some valuable stuff from them.

Bobby Allan said...

Just stumbled across your blog. Love it!

Unknown said...

Sweet sentiments. I feel the same way about my twin sister.

If you don't mind my asking, how did your sister lose the love of her life?

You are such a great writer in how you express your day to day thoughts.

Stacy Uncorked said...

Awwww! Sisters are the best...and I love her positive outlook. And I especially love that she called it a 'reamer'. ;)

Roshni said...

she is really strong and I am so glad that both of you have such a wonderful relationship!

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

Thank goodness for sisters who understand one another's grief.

I am quite happy without a lemon reamer, I think.

for a different kind of girl said...

You sister sounds like someone with a big, very open heart, not to mention some great household tips! I can't imagine enduring what your family has, but I can believe in the hope for the reward of reunion one day.

3 Bay B Chicks said...

I have often wondered how mothers who lose their children are able to go on. I have never known anyone in life outside the computer who has experienced this.

Brie may not solve all of the world's problems, but it makes for a healthy start between two sisters.


Maureen at IslandRoar said...

She sounds amazing; you are lucky. I have tears in my eyes thinking of what she's been thru.
And on a less serious note, excellent idea about the rice to clean the bottles; got to remember that one.
Thank you.

Carolyn...Online said...

I wonder sometime what people without sisters do.

Madge said...

seems like that's what sister's are for.

Ash said...

I heard Elizabeth Edwards say once how she does not fear her own death since it will bring her home to her son one day.

The immense pain a mother must carry crushes my heart. But Elizabeth's thought stayed with me.

Those with sisters are blessed.

bobmfrptx said...

Having felt similiar pain I truly respect and admire your attitudes and outlook.....for who so ever believes .....peace and it was so fun seeing you and thanks for getting me dancing k

Fragrant Liar said...

I love spending sister time. I am hoping to do the same at the end of September. Sis and I share same birth date, but four years apart.

“You know the sun comes up in the morning. You have to push aside the blankets and just get out of bed.”

Nobody has said that better. You just have to get up and go on. Thanks, Deb.

anymommy said...

Sob. You are both incredible.

Adrienne said...

Your sister is an amazing woman.

And I wondered what those wooden lemon thingies were called. Good to know.

Samantha said...

Love among sisters is so special and so amazing. Mine is my best friend so I can totally relate. Glad that you are as blessed as I am!

SweetPeaSurry said...

Your sister seems like an awesome lass. What windwerful lessons! Perfectly apt.


Anonymous said...

Who died?

Unknown said...

I read that before & cried again.

Rice in the bottle, seriously.

AiringMyLaundry said...

Love this. I wish I had a sister.

PhilB said...

That's just beautiful. Inner strength is so inspiring.

Thanks for a great post,


Barrie said...

Sisters are the best!

Diane J. said...

Sisters are the best! Bright rays of sunshine on rainy days, cool refreshers on steamy hot days.

Joanie said...

1) reamer. hehehehehehe

2) salt and ice cubes also work, as does CLR (which, according to their new commercials is environmentally friendly, but I still have a hard time believing that)

3) Hand sanitizer goes EVERYWHERE with me. And if I don't have it, I always have my handwipes. Call me Adrian Monk if you must, but yeah...you gotta.

4) Your sister is very wise.

Chris Hoke said...

I used to be the security guard at a chicken "processing" facility and there was a machine there called, seriously, The Reamer. This machine was a sort of conical claw made from steel that would rip out the chicken's innards through the rectal cavity. Also, there was a machine that used a small torch to pop off the chicken's toenails.

One question I never got a straight answer to in the entire year I worked there: What the hell am I supposed to be guarding?

AS Amber said...

I love the posts about your sister the best. My sisters are the most important women in my life. They are among the most important PEOPLE in my life.

Love your sister's courage. She's an inspiration to all of us!

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