Monday, August 1, 2011

Miami Memories: Sisters

I have a younger sister who is a truly deeply loving and beautiful woman, so it brings a giggle to my lips whenever someone asks her, "Are you older than Letty?" She has our father's blue eyes and curly gray hair while I have our mother's olive green eyes and blond, brown, graying "Lady Clairol" hair. We both love to learn whether in classes or just venturing out into new elements. In golf she is a natural. Her smooth rhythmical swing helped her win tournaments during her teenage years while I have grit, tension, and a swing that requires practice. Her relaxed and focused "head game" in golf and life helped her win a state tournament and become a beauty queen. My "head game" required maturity; I was fifty before I began to win golf tournaments.

Little Sister Jonya
We are both December birthdays, but school separated our lives by five years. I began school at age five in a Catholic school (Mother said I was a precocious child. I think I was a pain.) Jonya began at age six. She was just a baby when I left home early each morning giving her quiet time with mom.
We walked to school together only one year. I was the all wise sixth grader holding the hand of a shy first grader. One day during her recess time she ran around the corner of Roosevelt school in Miami, OK to peak at me sitting inside Mrs. Murphy's sixth grade room. Had it been Mrs. Murphy in the room there would be no story. Instead, our principal, Miss Hamilton was teaching class. Miss Hamilton walked to the window and scolded that little girl for disrupting the class, then she went out to the playground and scolded her again.
There was fear in my heart at that moment, knowing that we'd both be in trouble with dad that night. I spent the afternoon daydreaming about how and where we could run away to and avoid getting in trouble again. In the end we walked home together shedding tears in anticipation of the trouble we'd be in with dad. In the end our parents somehow agreed that what Jonya's little spying did no harm and so we were free to play outside that evening with the neighborhood gang.

I'd like to say that Jonya never spied on me again but that would be a lie. Our next ten years together were sprinkled with many memories of a nosy spying little sister and strong stubborn defiant older sister. Then time sped up. I graduated and left home. Over the next forty-five years we only lived near each other for a few of them, separated mostly by time, distance, families, and complicated lives.
Jonya and Letty ready for the game.
We've spent more years apart than we have together, so when we get to spend an evening or a day together it's a real gift for us. A few weeks ago Jonya drove to Kansas and spent seven days in our home. That's probably the most time we've been together since the summer of 1968. It was a special week for us as we rested, chatted, laughed with friends, toasted a few glasses of wine, played golf together, took casual walks, and relished in the minutes our lives as sisters. Now we seem to think more alike, laugh out loud alike, hurt in the knees, shoulders, and hips alike, but our hair is still vastly different!

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