MANDALA # 21/1000 

The Love of a Sister

The love of a sister
It is like no other

Five feet ahead of me
You mapped the path
You paved the way
You left perfect, graceful
for me to follow

But my feet fell crooked
and I strayed from the line
again and again

But I tried desperately to catch up
time after time
to be just like you

I swayed from
admiration to jealousy
jealousy to admiration
with your perfect curly hair
and your clear skin
your small feminine frame
and your confidence with each movement
your ability to speak
clearly and with candor
your quick tongue
and your effortless brilliance

And when I couldn’t live up to your strengths
I grew bitter with my weaknesses
And it is time I apologize
for the years and years
that I flowed through
letting you in and shutting you out

I need you to know
my anger was misplaced
and my immaturity skewed my reality
I was never angry at you
I was angry that I couldn’t be you
And I was angry at myself

You took me shopping when we were younger
I was overwhelmed with excitement to go with you
I tried on so many clothes
but none of them fit me
my body bulged out in the most unflattering ways
you didn’t know this as you were in another dressing room
but I felt disgusting
I convinced myself if you knew what I really looked like
you wouldn’t love me anymore
I was embarrassed and ashamed
I couldn’t look at you for the rest of the day
because you were so pretty and perfect
I thought for sure you would see me for what I really was
your fat ugly little sister
I didn’t want you to see me that way

So I thought
if I didn’t look at you
I wouldn’t be able to see the disgust in your eyes
as you looked at me

But there was never disgust in your eyes
There was only concern
And you grabbed my arm

and you said,

“Sara. You need to tell me what’s going on. I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what is bothering you.”

But I was too tangled in shame
to admit my truth
So I didn’t say anything
I sat in bitter silence
destroying our beautiful afternoon

You didn’t deserve that
I am terribly sorry that I did that to you
Because that was just one example of
the many ways I shut down
and in turn shut you out

I am learning to truly forgive myself
and as I forgive myself I hope that you will forgive me too
because you are EVERYTHING to me

I am who I am because of you

When we were young
You taught me how to sew
how to dress my body
and in time I became a fashion designer

You taught me how to wear makeup
how to shave me legs
how to do my hair
how to own my curls
how to paint my nails

When I was failing in school
you taught me how to break down a project
how to do things one step at a time
so that it would be more manageable
and you never made me feel stupid

You defended me
if anyone dared to cross me
you DESTROYED them

You gave me strength
when you believed in me

I heard you once
when I was 17
You didn’t know I was in the next room
as you showed your friends my designs

“My little sister is so fucking talented. She is going to be famous one day.”

Because of your words
for the first time
I thought to myself, maybe I am talented
Maybe I am going to make something of myself

When I posted ‘Held Together By Glitter’
I felt sick with shame, regret, and disgust
I went to take it down
mortified that I put it in the world
But before I had a chance
I received a text from you
saying it was powerful, brave, and brilliant
You said it should be published
and in an instant I felt immense pride
that I told my story
because YOU GAVE ME THE POWER by standing by my side

And my gratitude is endless
as you’re my role model
my inspiration
my big sister

And I hope you know
while it is no doubt in any of our minds
that you can handle anything
that you can do it all on your own
I hope you know
You don’t have to

mom and dad
made Zach and I
so you wouldn’t have to stand alone

I know that you carry the weight of the world
and I imagine it is a hard role to manage
So please let me share the weight
Let us stand with you
You are not alone
You will never be alone
we love you

The love of a sister
It is like no other