Christmas with My Sister

Christmas for us when we were growing up was a time when my Sister and I played and played and played. Quiet when mom and dad were fighting very loud and somewhat violent. Didn’t want to be noticed because that meant we would be screamed at non-stop, threatened, accused of things we had no idea what it was about, and often blamed for the parents fighting. But we played. That’s the way kids are.

Some of the good things about Christmas in our family was that one of our traditions was that we could have all of a food just for ourselves. I always picked marshmallow fudge. My Sister picked a different pie each year. Mom actually cooked the fudge for me. It was the only thing I remember her cooking for me in particular. I cannot describe how much I loved that fudge because my mom never showed me tenderness or nurturing.

Another good thing about Christmas was that it was more like Thanksgiving at our house. I am personally glad it was like that. We didn’t get as many toys, clothes, and stuff as a lot of other kids, but we were taught to be thankful for what we had and what we received. One of the first Christmases I remember was when I was about 6 years old going to grade school at Krebs. The last day of school before Christmas break each of us were given a back of fruit and candy. I was thrilled, but knew that if I received something I should be grateful and share. I went home and I was alone for a little bit. I don’t know where mom and my Sister were, but dad was at work. I wrapped each candy bar, Life Saver rolls, and such, wrote on it who it went to and put it under the tree as gifts for mom, dad, and my Sister. I was full of joy seeing that I had gifts to give that really were from me.

Another wonderful thing that often happened at Christmas was that our grandma and grandpa would come down from Missouri to visit us, or we went to their house. Grandma was very tender and nurturing with us. I always knew I was loved by her. She was my main female role model. She was witty, smart, kind, generous, and one of the most amazing people I have ever known. I tried really hard to be like her. She often gave all the grandkids homemade gifts. My Sister and I would sit in the living room with her and do our own crafts to give away. We felt like we were like grandma for a little bit each year and that was magical. Mom and dad didn’t fight when grandma and grandpa were around, so we got a much needed break from all the tension and negativity we lived with each day during the regular year.

I remember the first Christmas my Sister and I lived apart. She was still living with mom and dad because she was 16. I was 19 and had moved out. I couldn’t take mom and dad’s fighting one day longer than I had to, so I had moved out the minute I graduated high school. Mom, dad, and my Sister had moved to Missouri to be closer to grandma. Mom and dad were fighting as usual and had decided to not decorate for Christmas or do anything for Christmas. My sister was really sad. She missed me a lot and I missed her, too. She had to deal with all the parent fights by herself and it had been a really hard time for her after I left home.

I was waitressing. I got off the afternoon of Christmas Eve. I had bought a small live tree. I had a hatchback. I put the tree in it and drove from Southcentral Oklahoma to the Springfield area of Missouri. It was bumper to bumper traffic all the way. It took me much longer than I expected to get there. Finally I was there. I hugged my Sister like we’d been apart for half a lifetime. I was polite to my parents. My Sister and I got the tree out of the car and set it up. We decorated it. I had some small gifts for everyone and put them under the tree.

We didn’t have any special dessert that year. Mom and dad didn’t cook. There was hardly any food in the house. We went to a big family lunch for Christmas. After we ate we went outside and walked for about an hour. That was normal for us to do after we ate. We just strolled and talked. It wasn’t “power walking”.

When we got back home dad drank until he passed out and mom went to their bedroom and we didn’t see her again until some time the next day. She hardly ever sat with the family. She always wanted to be alone.

It’s sad what has happened to Bill Cosby, but at the time the Cosby show was at it’s height. We both loved it. And I had seen the standup show he did called something like, “Bill Cosby, Himself”. I did the bits about the mom like a Samurai with the kids. She was doubled over in laughter. We laughed and laughed. Our hearts were sore and raw from grief, missing one another, and mom and dad getting worse every day. But for one evening we sat on the porch and I did jokes and bits I had heard from Bill Cosby. For a little time we forgot all the despairing circumstances we were living in…. Then the day after Christmas I had to go back to Oklahoma and work a dinner shift.

I miss her. Everyone who knew her loved her and miss her, except her stupid husband who wants to act like she never existed. For years they didn’t have any pictures of her up for the girls. Everything is about my Sister’s widower husband. He turns everything to where people have to feel sorry for him and take care of him, like he is a child. Well, he is a child for all intents. His immaturity and selfishness is staggering. Everything is about what he does and what he has been through and he, he, he, he, he….nothing about anyone else. He is the absolute opposite of our family. Cold, emotionless robot who just repeats the same things over and over again — that’s what he is like. I could take the screaming in our house better than some idiot sitting in a room with me just staring like a robot on pause. And he was always like that, not just while my Sister was dying. He is the cheapest idiot alive. He is even stingy with his attention and being part of social situations. He doesn’t have any hospitality. The closest thing is that he will say, “If you wanted to stay, then you can. I won’t stop you.” That stuff drove me crazy when my Sister was alive. Now I can’t endure it at all.

Now I am having a second Christmas in the Lower 48 while my husband is in Alaska. I miss him so much. I’m guessing the nieces will be kept too busy to really visit until after Christmas. The IdIoTTwins won’t let me have good holidays. Torturing my Sister as she died and disrespecting everything about me, my family, my husband isn’t enough for the IdIoTTwins. They have to keep doing cruel things to me, trying to shut me up. I am not going to shut up.

I miss my Sister. We were like war buddies. We survived many, many horrible things. We promised each other to always help the other one. Knowing I had one person, who would always be on my side, made me strong. I can’t deal with stressful situations the same way without her. I don’t have anyone to talk to like I talked to her. We could say anything to one another and we promised to not get mad at each other. That’s a rare bond. You hardly see it, even in sisters. It can only be forged in the war trenches, saving each other.

My entire core family is dead. My mom, dad, and my Sister. We were a small family. It’s so weird to be the last surviving member of my family at 51 years old. But I have to say, it is a relief that mom is dead. She tore me apart every chance she got all the way up to the end.

Thank you for listening.

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