All my life I’ve been introduced as “Carla’s sister.” It happened when I was a kid, a camper at Frontier Camp in Grapeland, Texas, where my sister devoted so much of her life that they named a freakin’ cabin after her. I think while I was there I just made lanyards.
It happened again couple of months ago when I spent the weekend with my sister and went to church with her Sunday morning in Richardson and asked if I could volunteer with the “littles” Sunday school class.
We’re 21 months apart and while she’s much more mature than me, we spent many, many years of our lives in the same household. That’s a bond that can’t be broken.
I’m not real sure how DNA works but I’m pretty sure ours is similar. We both have kind of high-strung personalities, albeit what I hope are kind hearts, weird obsessive-compulsive disorder behaviors and a love for laughter.
There’s a time in one’s life when one wants so desperately to make a name for herself, to stand out, to be good at something, to have someone – just once – approach Carla and say, “Oh, you’re April’s sister.”
I’m kind of over that, and it’s a good feeling. I am thrilled that people think I look like my mom. She’s beautiful. What a compliment. I am so proud of my sister and all she does in the face of adversity. I now introduce myself as Carla’s sister. It gets me on the red carpet.
A person who is very close to me recently pointed out that I don’t have a lot of friends. It’s true. And while that’s a hurtful observation because it seems to be an indictment on how I treat others, it’s OK. I have the friends I need. I have my mother and my sister. I will always have my mother and my sister.
I don’t have a “tribe” or a “Sex and the City” squad that goes out for cosmopolitans every Thursday. I don’t call my best friends from high school, who now live in Pennsylvania and Los Angeles, in the middle of the night (but I might text them in the middle of the night). Stuff changes when you grow up. You draw near to the people who know you and love you in spite of yourself. You’d rather spend time with family than with the party girls.
We need people in our lives who we can trust and who will stand by us through thick and thin. From my experience, that’s family.
April Towery is the managing editor of The Sealy News. She can be reached at 979-885-3562 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.