16 years ago today, my sister Karen was killed by a drunk driver. She was only 18 years old. In years past, on this anniversary, I would often ponder what she would be doing if she were still alive – perhaps a college graduate, successful in her career in sports medicine, maybe married with kids of her own.
This year as I remember my sister I think of the bond that we shared growing up. We were the only kids in the family and four years apart. When we were kids I would protect her as my little sister, we would play together, and have dance parties and play “house” and “office”.
It’s these times that I have been thinking about more and more lately. The reason – because my girls are establishing the same sisterly bond. My youngest (who is almost a year and a half) recently had a boo-boo and her big sister (nearly four years old) immediately ran to her side and comforted her saying “Your big sister is here.” It was very hard to not break down and start sobbing right there.
Karen and I had our share of arguments as teens – but what siblings don’t bicker every now and then?
It’s the bond that we were just starting to develop as adults that I also miss. My parents had always told us “Be nice to your sister, she’s the only one you got!” We were just starting to understand what they meant. I now find myself saying that same thing to my girls – when one starts pulling the other’s shirt or horse-playing a little too rough.
As adults, sisters should enjoy long chats, meeting for coffee or lunch, and just having a great time together. I can’t do any of that. I can’t look at sister cards in the Hallmark store – it’s too hard.
It’s important that my girls realize how important their sisterly bond is. All sisters should treasure these girls and ladies.
Because you never know when your sister will be ripped out of your life forever.
I miss you Karen – and will never forget all the smiles, laughs, and happy memories that we shared growing up.