Thursday, August 27, 2009

Twenty-Nine and Holding



Today is my sister’s, Matilda, birthday. She is twenty-nine. I know she is twenty-nine because in a couple of weeks I will be twenty-six for the 23 time. But this isn’t about me it’s about her and her 23rd twenty-ninth birthday. The reason I say it isn’t about me is because well, bless her heart, she would have to share her birthday with me.
When we were little because our birthdays were within thirty days of each other our mother would make one cake and invite all of my sister’s friends over then tell me it was a party for me too. Yeah I didn’t have friends. Well except for the invisible kind. So poor Matilda would be forced to share her cake with me. She was forced to let me help her blow out the candles and she was forced to even let me open some of her presents. She always got the best presents too. Straw Hat perfume and Bonnie Bell lip gloss in pale pink. She even one year got this great black stationary that you wrote on in white ink. I was so jealous. I wanted to write my invisible friends on black paper with white ink. Matilda gave me some invisible paper and invisible ink and told me to go to town. I digress.
Matilda would whine and cry and lament about how unfair it was for her to have to share her birthday. I didn’t mind a bit though. I mean think about it. I got cake. I got to play with the big girls and I had instant friends. Oh wait this was supposed to be about Matilda. Let’s see, Matilda got a little sister who tagged along, interrupted her conversations, horned in on her pin the tail on the donkey and got to open her That Girl Paper Doll Book. Wow, Matilda no wonder you hate my guts.
Remember that? When you would get mad at me and say “I hate your guts!” Did that mean the rest of me was okay it was just the innards you couldn’t stand? Or when you tell me, your little sister, that you never wanted to see her again and wished she had never been found under that rock. Then you rode off on your cool purple stingray bicycle with the hand brake. You were so smug and pompous on that bike that you thought you could outrun your brother’s car? Then you promptly ran into the back of your brother’s Corvair and skinned your knee and almost broke your neck? Yeah I don’t remember that either.
Do you remember the time when you were older and we were going out for the evening but Buck was expected in from college? It was you not your pesky little sister who came up with the bright idea to hide the key under the mat and put a note on the door telling Buck where to find the key. Well we all knew no one else would read that note, after all it was addressed to Buck. Nope I don’t remember that either. I also don’t remember the time that you, not your pestering little whelp of a sister who was found under a rock, reasoned that you would get a better tan on the mountain in Colorado because you were closer to the sun. Nope I don’t remember that either.
I do remember you bringing me candy when I was sick. I remember you hurrying home to check on me when I got hit by a car. I remember you rescuing me from a horrible and indefinable relationship. I remember you scratching my back when I had a nightmare and couldn’t fall back to sleep. I remember the sacrifice you made to tend to our ailing mother. I remember the love and care you gave her when she was dying. Those are the things I remember.
Oh and I remember that today is your twenty-ninth birthday. I don’t really remember if it’s the first time or the thirty first time.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MATILDA!

9 comments:

Joanna said...

So wonderful to have a sister! Happy Birthday Matilda!

Ms Martyr said...

I was the younger bratty sister also. Gosh, the memories this brings back.
Also, I had a Corvair! It was a 1961, four-door. My boyfriend put a Harley-Davidson sticker on it to try to up the cool factor.

mama-face said...

Your post is such a wonderful gift for your sister. I can identify with a lot of your memories because I've been 29 more times than I want to admit.

The purple stingray bike...oh I miss that bike. With the tassels hanging from the handlebars. The glittery banana seat. Those were the days. What an old person thing to say! ;)

Nell Jean said...

What a sweet tribute to your sister. I hope she has a Happy Birthday.

Caution Flag said...

My older sister had the purple Stingray bike and when she wasn't home, I put a lot of miles on that thing. My pedal brake, turquois Rambler just wasn't cool at all. Now I'm feeling sorry for myself all over again.

Sharing birthdays makes me think of a friend whose two children were born on the same day 5 years apart. She determined that they would always share a birthday party and to that end, must therefore, always have the same friends. A tough assignment for sure.

otin said...

I loved the end part of that! It was very heartfelt and special! Happy Birthday to your sister! Almost 30 LOL!

terri said...

This was the best tribute to a sister I've ever read. Matilda is lucky to have you for her sister!

Happy Birthday, Matilda!

Katherine Aucoin said...

This is a wonderful tribute to your sister. I wish i had a sister, but then i live vicariously through my daughters.

Happy Birthday Matilda!

LiLu said...

Awwww. That is the cutest picture EVER.

Happy Bday, Matilda!!!