Monday, February 20, 2012

My Sister and Me

 I wrote the following story about seven years ago after my second daughter was born.I wanted to write a book about the friendship of sisters, but instead of creating a fictional story for them I decided to write a true story about one of my sisters and I. (I also quickly drew pictures for them-'cause what's a picture book without pictures?) Hope you enjoy this.

This book is dedicated to my sister Anne Tuccillo Del Santo.
 My sister whom I will never stop loving.
 And whom I will never forget.

My sister and I loved each other very much.
I know we loved each other because
we had the best time whenever we were together-
laughing, playing or just talking.

I knew she loved me because she would spend time with me.
You see my sister Annie, as I called her, is seven years older than me.
So, when I was five she was already twelve years old!
I hear some people don't like to play with little kids,
but to Annie it was like my age didn't even matter.

I remember one summer evening sitting on the front stoop
watching my sisters play baseball out in the street.
When the game was over everyone was tired and headed home.
I asked Annie if she'd run a race with me down the block and back.
She put her stuff down and said, "Sure."
We lined up side by side.
"Ready. Set. Go!" she shouted.
I took off running as fast as I could,
but when I turned to see where Annie was
I saw her pretending to run fast behind me!
As she ran she was cheering for me-
"Wow! Look at her go! She's so fast! This kid is going to beat me!
And I did!

I remember another time I asked Annie if she would play dolls with me.
She said yes, but that I'd have to wait until she was done with her homework.
As I waited on my bed in my room I played with my little plastic dolls.
When Annie came in to play with me she brought her big, beautiful china dolls!
She let me hold one and play with it.
I was so surprised.
We got down on the floor and imagined for hours.

I remember every June, after I had gotten dressed for my ballet recital,
Annie would style my hair for my performance.
Annie always knew just how to do the prettiest things with my hair.
Sometimes, she would put it up in a simple bun,
 or teddy bear ears, or a single French braid.
But I loved when she put my hair in a double French braid the most.

 I remember one day in first grade when my teacher told us
that we needed to make a math project.
I told Annie how scared I was and how I had no idea what to do.
She had no worries. She came up with the greatest idea.
She said, "Let's make a math board game."
She got a big piece of poster board and drew a big doll house. 
We started drawing the details for the basement
and worked our way all the way up to the attic.
We had fun drawing the furniture and coloring it in.
Then we made the math cards.
1+1= ?
The rules were: Pick a card. Read the equation. If you got the answer correct
you were than able to move that many spaces.
The first person who made it to the attic, where all the toys were, was the winner!
We had the best time together making it, but that's not all-
My project one first prize!

I remember my ninth birthday.
My mother took me to a toy store and told me to pick any toy
from the store as my present.
I saw a Raggedy Ann doll and just had to have it.
I loved it for months and months until one day it got really dirty.
 I was sad.
When Annie found out she took the doll and thought she'd surprise me
by putting it in the washing machine to clean it.
When the wash was done the doll had broken into pieces and couldn't be fixed.
I cried and cried.
But Annie decided to surprise me again.
For Christmas she didn't buy me a new Raggedy Ann doll-
she made me one!

I remember one summer my family and I went on vacation.
While we were there I got very sick and had to stay in bed.
Sometimes I felt lonely, but that's when Annie would come in
and lay down next to me.
Every day she would read a few chapters in the book Sara Crew.
I never remember enjoying a story more than when she read to me.
She made the story come alive.
I felt like I had jumped right in to the book with her.

I remember one time Annie was going to the mall with my sisters.
I wanted to go, but my mother said I was too young.
I stayed home just waiting for her to come back.
When she finally did come home
I remember everyone was talking about what they saw and bought
and what a good time they had.
I sat listening when Annie came over to me with a shopping bag.
She said, "I bought you something."
I opened up the bag and it was a purple pocket book.
It was my very first pocket book ever.
I couldn't have loved it more.
(I found it amazing that while I was thinking of her,
she was thinking of me!)

I think my favorite memories of Annie
 were the times she would come and talk with me.
I remember one time I was so sad
because I had not done well on an important test.
She came and told me that even though I felt like a failure,
that I was not.
She told me that if I persevered, if I didn't give up,
I would do much better the next time.
She believed in me.
I held onto her words, and she was right,
I did do better the next time.

Annie and I are all grown up now.
I remember her wedding day and how beautiful she looked.
I remember when she had to move away to Massachusetts.
I remember more good times like going to visit her over the years.
No matter what the distance,
No matter the years that pass by
I know that no matter what happens
I will always love my sister Anne.

I have also moved away,
gotten married, and now have children of my own.
So many times I find myself allowing my children
 to win a running race,
cheering them on just as Annie did for me.
And each time my daughters are getting ready for their dance recitals
 I put pretty ribbons or braids in their hair
and think of Annie.
And I love surprising my children with special presents
and making things that I think they will love.
And I especially love the quiet moments of sitting and reading to them.
Teaching them new things and telling them
that they can do or be anything they want to be when they grow up.
 I tell them to persevere because I believe in them.

The End

(Sadly, I have not seen my sister Anne since 1991).

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