Thursday, March 08, 2007

Some Believing Mirrors Work Overtime

The pillow my sister made for me one Christmas.
My sister is my strongest Believing Mirror. Let me try to explain one the reasons why that is the case:
My sister holds the key to all of my memories. I suffer from a kind of self imposed amnesia. Often, when we talk she’ll recollect an event and look across at my questioning face. She realizes I haven’t a clue. “June, don’t you remember, we got up very early that morning, and mommy let us go outside for the first time in our lives without even combing our hair?” “Oh, yeah,” I’d apologetically reply, “I’d forgotten that.”

At some point in my life, I decided I wasn’t worthy of such memories and henceforth arbitrarily dismissed personal moments as they spun past. So, my sister does it for me, until I am capable of doing it for myself, should that day ever come. There are countless blank time periods that lack detail and significance. My sister fills them in with faithful regularity and even composes touching moments that cause my heart to quiver and tears to swell. Fortunately for me, she is a natural story teller of clever wit and insightful commentary.

For a very long time I did not understand the reason why I could not fill in the empty spaces of my own existence. Well, that’s not completely true. I knew the precise moment my life was altered; I just did not consciously recognize it until recently. Nor did I realize its profundity and the absolute impact it would have on my time here on this earth. Please, do not think horrible thoughts. I was not molested, or abused as a child. It had nothing at all to do with mistreatment. It was just a bad mistake, an overheard conversation that was certainly meant to be private, but was nevertheless, overheard by nosey five year old ears.

Yes, my sister holds the key to all of my memories. What does she think of this job? For a long time, I don’t think she even realized she was employed, but thank goodness she is prompt, conscientious, and asks for no compensation, otherwise, the pages of my book would be utterly… blank.


Jessie said...

it sometimes amazes me the way siblings can share (and be each others) memories in this way. my sister and i are similar in the respect that we were close enough in age that i feel like we share a history. i feel so much less alone in the world knowing that there is someone who experienced the world along side me. sometimes we take turns remembering. sometimes we even remember things differently...but always, we share a common thread. it sounds like you and your sister share the same sort of connection.

Elizabeth said...

What a lovely post - so full of love it bought a lump to my throat. I am an only child and so do not have a proper understanding of what it is like to have siblings, but you paint a full, beautiful and tender story. Thank you!

Kiki said...

Wow. I don't have a sister. This is a gorgeous story. I wish it were the opening of a novel or autobiography so I could keep reading and reading, page after page. I think I would be late to my next commitment. K

Caroline said...

What a wonderful sister you have! And how lucky she is to have you acknowledging her in this way - you could be resentful or bitter that she recalls so much more but no you are grateful - this balances out brilliantly!

Gemma said...

I just want to say that some times 5 y/o ears misunderstand what is being said....for example I grew up thinking my Dad had shot and killed my dog....I heard them say the dog needed a shot.(It was a Parvo shot for distemper) The dog died anyway. I didn't find out until I was grown that my dad was trying to save my dog....not kill it!

The Dream said...

June, what a lovely and loving post. This put a lump in my throat, as well. Yes, I do believe that my departed sister, Mary and my living sister, Sara are two of my believing mirrors. Sara is 10 years older, and is a great source of memory for me, for a whole lot of reasons. Again, thank you for your words regarding my painting The Channel - I felt completely honored.

GeL (Emerald Eyes) said...

I'm so happy for you that you and your sister are so loving and close.
An event as a child (or anytime in one's life) needn't be "mistreatment" for its impact to be traumatic. I hope you can turn to your sister more as this part of your past is faced and be gentle with yourself. (I overheard something as a child...)
Huge hugs to you and your sis

Riggwelter said...

My sister and I are exactly the same, I don't remember much about being a child but my sister will fill me in now and then.
Sister's are great aren't they!

Love your jewelry btw :)

awakeningartist said...

I am so touched by your post. I feel I have come to discover you for a reason. Last night I came across you through your etsy and had emailed you a request for help. This morning, as I try to figure out if I should make jewelry or work in my "business" - i.e., try to sell some, I decided to look up your blog. My first blog search, ever! And I must say, I am touched and my heart feels a little fuller than it did when I rose from bed this morning.

I never had that close of a relationship with my 5 siblings, they all seemed to gather together much easier. I was on the outside. How very fortunate you are for your sister and i look forward to reading your older postings as well as future postings and then I will get back to work.

Thank you

Bohemian Mom said...

I love reading about your relationship with your sister.
It's beautifully written.
I don't have a sister, so thanks for sharing your experiences!
I grew up with 3 brothers. OY!