Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Sister's Keeper

The title is a play on the book “My Sister’s Keeper.” I see it being appropriate for the reasons that will be read in this essay. Only difference is, neither sister dies in my story.

There is this early memory I have from when I was about three years old. My younger sister was barely learning how to walk properly in her sixteen month old self. We were staying with our father that week because our mother was attending a wedding in Colorado. To my sister and my unknowing, our mom was actually in the midst of separating from our dad. We were too young to really figure out that after this trip, we would be seeing our parents at separate times.



My dad had been in a handful of accidents since he was a young teen. The most recent one at my young age was when he slipped off a roof and shattered his heel. I can imagine how stressful this could have been for him at this point. He was struggling in crutches and a divorce peaking on the horizon.

My sister and I were playing outside in the arroyo in this early memory. I can’t recall the particular activity but I do remember us hearing the kids from across the street playing on their play palace. Their squeals and their laughter attracted the two of us to walking to the busy road. I couldn’t resist! We had dirt as our playground and they had a swing set, slide, sand box, teeter-totter, and mini tree house. It looked like a fortress of absolute fun. I grabbed my sister’s tiny hand and pulled her with me up the drive way. I consciously knew that we weren’t allowed to leave the arroyo or yard without Dad. But the invitation of a play palace across the street looked too worth it.

We stopped at the road and saw the four little kids playing. One girl, Samantha, waved to us and called us to come over. My baby sister’s eyes and smile lit up as she quickly dashed out of my hand. A large green pickup was speeding down the road. The grind of its engine ensured me that he wasn’t going to stop for a toddler running sluggishly across the road. My heart stopped as I dove after my sister. Even in my young age I knew that this was danger. I grabbed her by her shoulders and pulled us both back. We landed on our buts with her about to force out tears. I had hurt her, but at the same time saved her from being crushed. The green menacing truck whistled by without even a break. Just the persistent blast from his horn.

The reward of saving my sister was a gleeful swing on the monkey bars. I laughed and laughed with the other children as we all played. My blonde ponytail was tugged by Samantha at one point. “Your daddy!” She said in her two year old squeak. I looked across the road and saw the tall man in crutches, making speed down the driveway. I grabbed my sister’s hand, making her cry as I pulled her out of the sandbox. I knew we were in trouble. Dad’s face was red as cranberries and his eyes a raging ice blue. I have to admit, the memory of it makes me shudder right now. Dad came and pinched the both of us on the shoulders before he growled, “Hold each other’s hands and go home.”

I don’t remember much after that. I guess I blocked the part out when he lectured us and gave us both a swat on the bottoms. I’m eighteen now and my dad still sometimes apologizes for hitting us fifteen years ago. It sank in deep for him. I know we scared him when he couldn’t find us for half an hour. I would have been terrified if my two daughters were not where they were supposed to be.

He didn’t tell my mother, or at least I don’t remember him doing so. My sister and I did bring it up once at the dinner table and my mom said, “That never happened, Sage is too scared to leave the yard. She wouldn’t of let Tyler do so either.” Mom wasn’t there but she knew it happened. It scared her and she covered it up by denying it. I was ten when I told her the story. Long after she could have said or done anything to my dad for that day.

The memory of the green truck still haunts me today. I’m as close to my sister as any two sisters could be. We’re almost two years apart but in almost all regards, we’re the same age. The day occasionally haunts my dreams. What if I hadn’t stepped out and grabbed her? What if she was hit? My whole life carried on without my sister. My family was broken from that point but if I had not saved her; we would have been a destroyed family. I can understand how that scared my dad but it saves my sanity knowing that he doesn’t know that she was almost hit by the truck. His concern was that we did cross the road unattended but not that there was a near death experience.

Even years later I wouldn’t be able to share with my dad that she was almost hit by that truck. I don’t think I would ever be able to tell him.

My sister is sixteen today. She resembles my dad as I resemble my mother. She carried the beautiful blonde hair and piercing eyes as I inherited my mother’s ocean eyes and face. The shapeliness that we share are resemblance of the love our parents had when they were together.
I am protective of those I care about. Escpecially with my sister. I can really reflect on how that incident made a fold in my life to be the type of person I am today. I can see a young child playing dangerously near a ditch and I will intervene to make sure he doesn't injure himself.
It is just a part of me to look out and be over cautious with people's well being.

2 comments:

  1. Wow! Your blog was incredible! What you did is amazing and I couldn't imagine bearing such a secret; or even worse, bearing guilt had you not been able to save her. You are an amazing sister! This was an incredible read.

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  2. I agree with Kelly; you write a great story!

    But I'm not seeing a genre, and that's kind of a big component to this assignment.

    Still, I enjoyed reading this.

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