I’m sitting with my twin
as drugs drip through the IV in her arm and try to combat the swelling in her brain and spine.
But we’re not here.
We’re all crowded and smooshed in our egg split down the middle in our mother’s belly.
How many people get to share everything from the very first moment of existence with another?
We’re little girls with skinny dark chocolate legs, singing songs and building forts all over Panama, speaking in our made-up secret language, playing hours of Atari, riding bikes against a pink sky. We’re getting into fights and dishing out the ultimate jab: leaving the other out of nightly prayers, “And God bless Mommy and Daddy and Chelli and Gena and the dog… and I can’t think of ANYONE ELSE, dear God. Amen.”
You are Laura and I am Mary from Little House on the Prairie. But since Mary goes blind and then loses her baby in a fire, I get to be Jo in Little Women and you have to be Meg. You are Marcia Brady and I am Jan. On the Cosby show you are Sondra and I am Denise (although Denise gets a little wild and I am not very happy about that). You are Kelly on Charlie’s Angels and I am Jill.
You are the outgoing one; social butterfly. I am the quiet, studious one. You win Nicest Smile at school. The yearbook comes out and there’s a big picture of you and your nicest smile… and my name under it. I laugh and laugh for days. You do not.
You’re walking down the aisle on your wedding day and I’m crying the ugly cry because you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I’m there, laboring with you through every single contraction until your precious daughter graces our world. You are amazing and strong, I sleep on the floor beside her your bed knowing I would do anything, absolutely anything for you.
The infusion nurses think we’re here. In this place where we face our great fears, where the pain burns behind our eyes. But we’re giggling at one of a thousand inside jokes.
We’re thanking God for this gift of sharing and burden bearing. Rejoicing when the other rejoices; weeping when the other weeps. I’m filled with deep joy that my own daughters know it, have their own extraordinary version of it. Companionship that needs no words. Memories that bind. Deep soul-connected togetherness. Nothing like this kind of sister love.
My sister, my sister. Always with you.