A Glimpse of a Girl

Memoirs of a Downward Facing Dog

I have written arias to yoga, odes to animals, dedications to families I’ve never met, condolences to those who were brave, bold, who suffered, lost and loved, but there is someone who has escaped the attention of my ink.  Someone who inspires me each and every day.

That someone is my sister.

My sister and I are 22 months apart and I am the oldest.  When we were very young she used to speak in a language my mom could not understand.  But I always knew.  Somehow, I could decipher her baby babble and translate it back to the grown-ups.

Once she started speaking in the language known as English, she struggled with the pronunciation of her “R’s”.  With her Shirley Temple-esque-like smile, a giggle and a face that was nothing short of infectious, she would bravely try to pronounce, “Hewo, my name is Amboo Weed and da wabbit wan down da woad.”

Since her childhood, she has always been fearless.  She rocked the curly bangs and the high-topped All-Stars like it was a uniform to be proud of.  Though she never cared what anyone thought anyways.  She had and still has the ability to make friends wherever she goes.  She is, simply, a person who engages others.  A natural entrepreneur since the days of backyard circus acts and sidewalk lemonade stands, she would rally up the neighbourhood kids as her employees and knew exactly how to make a dollar (or twenty).

She is the hardest worker I know.  She’s always held one, two, but most often three jobs simultaneously.  She is meticulously organized and since we’ve been practically the same size in clothes and shoes since high school, I remember having to “check out” her clothes, like some sort of closet Dewey Decimal system when I wanted to borrow something to wear.

Over the years, she has become fiercely independent, tenacious, stubborn in the most effective way, and perhaps a little bit guarded.  Somewhere along the way, I lost the ability to intuitively understand her language.  She stopped babbling and I stopped listening.  She kept it all inside.

But recently, I was given a window.  An opening and a glimpse of a girl who still has a magnetism that fills up a room.  Standing tall in her truth she was able to make people laugh, smile, and finally in her brave ability to allow herself to be vulnerable, to cry.  She thinks that somewhere along the way she lost the light in her smile, but what she doesn’t know is that it’s been there all along.  In her sense of humour, in her tell-it-like-it-is personality, in her unflinching way of just being her.  In photographs, it may not crack the laugh lines in her cheeks, but in reality she is as infectious as ever before.  And as she so wisely said, “We are all works in progress.”

To my bold, brave and beautiful sister.  Thank you for being courageous, raw and real.




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