February 6th. It seems like an ordinary day and for most people I am sure it is. It is one of my toughest days to get through every year. Brenda was born on this day 1967. I write about her every year on her day. Love does not diminish just because the one you loved has gone, it simply becomes something quieter, something different. The tears that are rolling down my cheeks right now are a mix of sadness and joy; sad for the things we will never do together and joy for the acceptance and love she always gave me. Just because you have siblings does not guarantee you will enjoy them but I was lucky. She was my kid sister, my friend, my confidant, my partner in crime, mine.
She would have been 50 years old today. I can’t help but wonder if her beautiful red hair would be a slight shade of pink from the subtle grey hair I am sure she would be trying not to take ownership of. Would her beautiful face be wrinkled from time? Things I will never need to know the answers for.
The girl I grew up with was shy, timid almost. I swear she was born with a broken heart. She did not know her worth. As the saying goes,”you only accept the love you think you deserve.” So yes, you guessed it; her taste in men was HORRIBLE! We were both so young living life trying to find a path to our own happiness. Why didn’t I see she was hurting? Why didn’t I know enough to help her get away from those bad influences? Now, I have the experience of life behind me to understand but not then.
I freely admit when I think about my kid sister I always see her through rose colored glasses. That is the love I have for her. She wasn’t perfect. I am the one who put her on a pedestal. I am the one who tried to fix her brokenness. I am the one who didn’t see her truths because I didn’t want to look. She did some pretty shitty things to her life. I know now she was drowning, fighting to stay above water. She didn’t like herself. She never learned to forgive herself for her own shortcomings. She was convinced she wasn’t good enough. She spent her life trying to run away from herself instead of working her way TOWARDS something better. Once upon a time I was crying to her about my own struggles over my weight, my beauty, my self worth. I told her I would give anything to be like her because I thought she had everything. She sat very quietly listening to me and when she had enough of my pity party she said,” outer beauty is a prison. No one cares what I think or if I have a brain. They just look at me and make assumptions about my intelligence. They assign me a value. Men chase me like a prize to be won. I wish I were more like you; you have everything.”
Her words broke my heart but they made me see for the first time. We all struggle. We all have pain. I never got to tell her how much I loved her for all the things she was to me. She taught me so much about the power we all have but keep hidden in ourselves. After she died I came to learn from other people in her life just how much I meant to her. She admired me. I was her older sister and she was proud of me. ME!?! I am a better person because of our struggles together. Whenever I feel like I can’t go another step I try to remember that our journey together is not over just interrupted.
I miss you, Breny.