Mean big sister

It was a gloomy, cold, windy day, much like today.  I emerged, clad as an alien, from between the two buildings that belonged to the Baptist Church next door to my granny’s house.  My 5th grade imagination coupled with findings from an elderly woman’s closet probably didn’t provide the most believable attire, but the costume served its purpose in deceiving my unsuspecting siblings.

“My name is Zeus and I came from another planet.  If you don’t do as I say, I will take you back there with me.”  This is what I told my younger brother and sister in the best alien voice I could muster. They didn’t realize that earlier, I had disappeared into my granny’s bedroom, adorned myself in some of her clothes, wrapped my hair up in a turban using some material she had, and covered my face completely in white powder.  While I readied myself for the subterfuge, I prepared my story.  And don’t ask me why I picked the name Zeus, it had nothing to do with Greek mythology.

Spaceship airbornBefore going outside, I clued Granny in on my plan and she giggled and said, “I don’t know Lisi-O (her pet name for me)”, you might scare them.  I’m sure the old green and white floor length curtains rustled as she kept a close eye on my movements, taking care that things didn’t go too far.

After I told them who as was, and my intentions to take them away with me as soon as my spaceship returned, they cowered on the ground, visibly shaken.  Their eyes were wide as saucers and they hovered together anxiously awaiting my next command.

It didn’t take very long for me to either feel sorry for them, or my grandmother to intervene.  In all honesty, I don’t remember which occurred first.  However, they had to be convinced of the truth to abate the tears.  I remember having to remove some of the garb or say or do something right away to make them recognize that it was only I, the meanie; the elder sister who made their lives miserable enough without adding such fear to it.

I mentioned that I was writing this to my sister and she reminded me that after I told them the truth we all went back outside and played “Zeus and her prisoners”.  I ordered them around and they willingly complied, anxious to continue the fun.

Looking back, I have no idea why they believed I was really an alien, or fell for the ruse, but when you are young, you are more gullible, you see things through the imaginative, all-believing, trusting eyes of a child.

I know this is an odd little story, but there is comfort in the memories.  I think of Granny, laughing and plotting and rescuing.  Then there is the quality time (well, most of it was quality) spent with her and my brother and sister.  We had many “Norman Rockwell” moments  🙂

Sissy, I love you to the moon and back!

My sis and I

My sis and I

This post will be dedicated to my younger sister, Deanna, who will be a year younger than me tomorrow.

My sister has been my biggest fan from day one.  As soon as she was able to walk and talk she also deemed herself my protector.  The sad thing about this is that I didn’t have sense enough to appreciate it until we were older.  I saw her love, adoration and desire to protect me as an intrusion for many years.  As mom was sewing matching dresses, I was striving to be different and separate, having little recognition of the little redheaded treasure I had by my side.  Without getting too personal, can I say that I failed so many times?   That instead of showing appreciation, companionship and love, I often took the low road and belittled her.  Maybe I am being too personal, but it’s the truth and I think it happens all too often.  Maybe if I share my regret, someone will read and apologize to their sibling or refrain from demeaning them to begin with.

We’ve always been close, but I had created a distance in those early years, that had to be righted.  I’m extremely grateful to be able to say that my sister forgave me for all of my evil ways.  There is nothing broken between us anymore, hasn’t been for years, no hovering darkness, and I praise God for that!  But, I can’t help regret the situations that I could have handled much differently.

If I could give her the birthday gift of my choice, I would take back every unkind word or look that I ever said or gave.  She never deserved anything less than my undying love and support.  My sister isn’t just a wonderful sister, she is a great friend to anyone and everyone who has ever had the privilege of knowing her.  She has this God-given ability to make you feel like the most important person in the world and she has mastered the gift of putting others first.  She is strikingly beautiful inside and out and talented in too many areas to mention.  She is a gift to our family and our community, bringing hope, inspiration, laughter and love to all.  I am so blessed to have the most amazing sister that God ever created and I just want the world to know that I love her so much!

This Christmas season, if you have any words you’ve left unsaid or apologies that need to be given, give yourself the gift of delivering them as soon as you possibly can.  You won’t regret it.

HAPPY, Happy Birthday, Dee –  I love you!

Mitch Teemley

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