Thursday, February 28, 2008

Entry: Sister Moment

Keeping Her Word
by B.J. Hamrick

I've always told my sister, Molly, that I would write about her. She's always told me that if I do, I'll be the one who ends up being written about – on the obituary page of the local newspaper. At least the police will know who to look for when my bloated, lifeless body floats to the top of the local river tomorrow. It will. Because Molly always keeps her word.

She kept her word when she promised to teach me how to play softball. I was 9 years old – the type of kid they put warning labels on athletic equipment for. Skinny and unbalanced, I had the hand-eye coordination of a toddler on Benadryl.

"It's not that hard," 11-year-old Molly said as she balanced the ball in her right hand. "I'm just going to throw it to you. All you have to do is catch it."

"I'm not sure this is such a great idea," my voice trembled…

To my surprise, I caught the ball. With my nose. It's been crooked ever since.

I guess that's a little like our friendship, Molly's and mine. Crooked. Molly's the sane, balanced one. I'm the one who's not quite right in the head. Yet her patience with me seems endless.

Like the time I sat on her bouquet of flowers. On her wedding day. Just before she walked down the aisle. There was a certain look of panic in her eyes as I whooshed right down on the bouquet and heard the dreadful noise. Crunch. Molly sighed. "Are you OK?" she asked. Not a word about the flowers. Only worried about me.

That's how it was all throughout high school. Molly watched as I struggled day after day with an illness that ravaged my immune system. During college when my seizures were so frequent I couldn't drive, Molly promised to drive me to school. There and back. Every day. She kept her word.

Molly's been there for me through everything – thick and thin. When I say "thick" and "thin", I am, of course, referring to my various physical sizes. When I went on steroids and ballooned like a blow-fish and grew a beard like an Olympic swimmer, Molly told me I was beautiful. She was, of course, lying through her teeth. But that's what good sisters do. They lie to each other when necessary.

I only hope that's what she was doing when she threatened to put me in the obituaries.

Submitted by
B.J. Hamrick


Patty Wysong said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this! It was fun to read, but it also brought tears to my eyes to hear how your sister has stuck with you. I hope she doesn't put you in the obituaries! :)

Holly Bloemhof said...

You must have a lovely sister! This was great!

Carrie said...

That was very sweet. That's a beautiful family relationship. Thanks for sharing! =)