By Rosie Preston
Being the first child born to my parents, I decided years ago that my parents liked me so much because I have three younger sisters. Because of the birthing order, I took it upon myself to take care of them. Often, one of my sisters will call on me for one reason or another.
For example, the other day, Mary Beth, sister No. 3, called.
“Will you meet me at the car repair business service center? I’m leaving my car. Will you take me to the bank, to the courthouse and to my doctor’s appointment?”
I dropped my own schedule to help my little sister, because that’s what big sisters do. When I picked her up, we headed for a local restaurant to chat for a while. Mary Beth had been experiencing severe pain in her neck and back and said that she had an appointment in a few days with a specialist. She asked if I would go with her.
“Of course,” I exclaimed, “I’ll be glad to accompany you!”
A few days later, we were ushered into the doctor’s examination room. The nurse assured us the doctor would be in soon. As I walked around the room, my sister asked, “Do you remember telling me that I was a tiny baby left on the front porch and that I was adopted?”
Ouch, that hurt.
“No,” I replied. “Why would I do something like that? Surely, I was kidding!”
“Do you remember that you made me cry and wouldn’t let me play with your Barbie dolls?”
“No, I don’t remember that, either!”
By this time, I wondered if we both needed a shrink instead of a surgeon. Mary Beth’s doctor then entered the room. I waited silently as he examined my sister and ordered a test for her lower back. He started to exit the room when I remembered something and put my arm across the door.
“Doctor, what about the pain in her neck?”
I was feeling very persistent and wasn’t about to move until he looked at her chart.
“There’s no mention of her neck,” he said. “You will have to make another appointment concerning her neck,”
“Excuse me, doctor,” I replied. “Isn’t her neck connected to her back? Can’t you help her today? Couldn’t you do something today? My sister is in pain!”
I knew the doctor had no idea who he was dealing with. My “mother tiger” comes out when it involves my family.
The doctor sighed in resignation as he made a call to set up an appointment immediately with another doctor down the hall, who was I suppose was the “neck” doctor. I was worried that my sister might not have not been treated well due to my persistence, but the neck doctor was pleasant, and we left satisfied that our request had been granted. Another test was ordered concerning her neck, and neck doctor prescribed Mary Beth pain medication to help her until the results came back.
On the ride home, my sister said, “You always did protect me. Remember the time you took me to the emergency room? You always helped me with my homework, too.”
Now I was starting to remember. I felt so bad she remembered that I made her cry. But it wasn’t all bad. We had our sibling rivalry, but I realized that being a big sister felt good. And isn’t that what it’s all about? Our memories may be different, but we will be there for each other, always!
Many years have gone by, and I love each sister so much. But I also wondered if sister No. 3 had ever made me cry. Well, yes. I remember it like it was yesterday. I had just started working my first job and had bought a pink color to paint my bedroom. After coming home one evening, I saw that she had taken lipstick and drawn big and little circles behind the door on my newly painted wall. Yes, I cried.
I admit that all our memories are probably different, but sisterhood love will always be there. Perhaps we were even on the sisterhood scale. Even if we don’t visit each other much, we are always very close sisters!
Keep smiling, Rosie
P.S. This article was published years ago, and I’ll never forget a call I received from one of my readers. She had not spoken to her sister in years, but after reading my article and crying, she called her sister and they resolved their differences!