In fewer than 24 hours, I will be in Tulsa, Oklahoma, spending the following 11 days visiting my sister, Sonja.
We are seven years apart. We have a brother between us, and two other sisters younger. Because I was the first-born, I left home first. Sonja was only 11 years when I joined the Air Force. The other two girls were 7 and 4.
Sonja and I were raised similarly in those days before I left home. The family dynamics changed drastically due to a divorce a couple of years before I joined the military. I don’t think it was easier before or after the dissolution. It was simply “different.” My leaving changed the dynamics, yet again, as does any family when children leave the nest.
One thing that I have realized is that the two of us have never spent time together without someone else around. Now that we are both in our 50s, I wanted to make sure that it happened. It has been a long time coming.
So, I’m on my way to Tulsa and will be there through her birthday, leaving the following day. I am so looking forward to having fun with her and making the memories that only sisters can make.
Two women. Two girls. Two people whose lives have paralleled in many ways with shared experiences, but lacking in the experiences together that were not painful from what life dished out.
These next 11 days are a time to share joy and laughter, and go back to recreate the childhood sisterhood with new memories. And we will enjoy one another five decades later in ways that only we sisters can share.