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An Open Letter To My Sister

Dear Putts:
How are you? I am fine.

So began every letter that I wrote to you…even the ones that managed to get into an envelope and find a stamp and get all the way to the mailbox. I’m ashamed to admit that there weren’t many of them that actually got INTO the mailbox in your short life. It really isn’t that I’m a shitty sister…I’m sure God has told you THAT by now..He has probably explained that I was young, self-centered and selfish…but it NEVER was because I didn’t love you.

I should have started each of those letters with:
Dearest Putts:
What have you been up to? I can’t tell you how much I miss you and how much I wish we had just a short 3 minute phone call. Look, I’m sorry I got upset the other day. Please forgive me, because I can’t seem to forgive myself. It was a stupid argument, and I was wrong…and I wasn’t LISTENING to you. I NEVER seemed to listen anymore, did I?

Aunt Mama says that you would have forgiven me long ago…just like you always did…and that I shouldn’t keep beating up on myself. Gee, after 37 years, you probably WOULD have forgiven me by NOW…Maybe I needed that lesson in life; I’ve learned to control my temper…actually, I can’t remember the last time I got upset with anyone…No, my ex-husband doesn’t count, he DESERVED every bit of my ire!

You would be very proud of me, tho…I never told our female egg donor what I thought of her, never called her out for her lies, never told her what a useless human being she is. I gave her 58 years to get her act together, to take responsibility for her actions, and still she lies to me. She is still just as clueless about anyone but herself as she always has been. I went to see her four years ago. When I called to tell her what day and time I would be arriving, she obviously pretended to write it down…then told me what bus to take from the airport to get to her apartment. When I arrived, she wasn’t home. How typical of her! I waited for over an hour for her to get home. I know that this will sound odd…but, for being so much LIKE each other, we are NOTHING alike! If it were ME, and MY child (who I hadn’t seen in 30 years was coming to visit) I would SOMEHOW manage a way to be at HOME when he arrived! She is still full of empty words and promises that she has no intention of fulfilling! When she said “I don’t KNOW why you can’t be more like Putts!” It took everything within me NOT to say “What part of her do you want me to be? The DEAD part?  So that you can make up lies about how much I loved you?” If I could feel pity for her, it would be because she actually believes the crap she says! But, I can’t feel anything for her except distain…she has used up every ounce of my “I give a hoot!”

I told myself that I could forgive her if she were able to say “I don’t know WHY I left you and Putts alone in that trailer to die. I was barely 22, It was 1955 and I was pregnant with a mixed race child, and I didn’t want to explain it to your dad. I didn’t want to face the music! Besides, you SURVIVED it, didn’t you? Someone finally DID find you and Putts! I KNEW they would eventually! And you were pretty smart for being only TWO! You knew how to get a bottle from the fridge and feed Putts! Everything turned out FINE! I KNEW it would!” BUT…she is unable to even come close to that.  Only you, because we endured the hell together, could understand everything that I feel.  Gods!  How miss you!  How I wish that I had valued you more when you were here, alive…my only excuse is that I was a naive, semi-selfish person!  At my 40th class reunion, some girl I barely knew remembered that the first thing she remembered was how I beat the stuffing outta K. Flatt because she called you a “‘tard”…them’s fightin words, obviously…but I don’t remember doing that at all…but I cannot forgive Bambi Lane…

I’ve become friends with Auntie Vee!  We never KNEW there WAS an Auntie Vee!  It was weird how it came about, but it matters not HOW it happened, but THAT it happened! You would love her, too.  Her heart reminds me of you.  She made a pinky-swear to never tell Bambi that she talks to me.  In spite of all my ire toward that self-centered female, I have no intention of ever telling her anything, of ANY communication.  The ONLY thing she ever gave me was to suspect anyone who says “I love you!”…she has no understanding if those words, other than being a tool of manipulation…she taught me that words are useless without action, she taught me to look for motives, she taught me not to TRUST.

My life is better because you were in it.  You gave me pure love.  You and I (when we weren’t having Sister Fights) were best friends, we endured together.  All the good within me came from you and especially Gramma.  I know that whatever is “after this”…you are wrapped in Gramma’s big heart…and neither of you have any pain or heartache.

I have Aaron in my life…a better son could not exist…I wish I had been a better mother….

I have found the best husband in the world…JR treats me like a queen, and there is nothing I do without.  He may not SAY “I love you!” but he doesn’t have to.  His actions speak volumes.  I know I’m not easy to live with…I have my quirks, I’m a terribly unorganized person (my lack of qualities are rubbing off on him!) and the aches and pains of being “elderly” make me even less amiable sometimes.  But, much like you and I, the superficial issues are insignificant to the deep, true love and affection we have for one another.

When you left me here alone…I didn’t think that I would be able to survive…but I did.  In fact, I thrived.  I’ve tried my best for the past 38 years to live my life for us both.  To cram TWO lifetimes into one, yours AND my own.

I hope that when you look at me now, that you not only forgive my sins toward you…but that you are proud of me.  Thank you for always being my Guardian Angel.

I’ll love you always…until we are reunited in the hereafter.

 

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