Right now I would imagine Amber sitting here doing all she can do to not laugh at me. She’d know how awkward I feel right now and how I so don’t do mushy and would get a kick out of watching me try. Right about now she’d realize that when I said “am I coming in clear” a minute ago I was quoting Willy Wonka and she would start to giggle.
I was what some would call a big sister with…jerkish tendencies. I once told her that Pretty Ugly meant beautiful so that anytime she would ask me how she looked I could look her in the face and say “pretty ugly”. She would leave happy and I would leave laughing. It was a win-win. There was also the “tit-chin controversy of 1986 for which I will forever be sorry, ‘93’s “please don’t wake Tyler up from his nap just to hold him for five minutes, put him back in his crib to scream and go home…again” “disagreement”, and my personal favorite, the great costume misunderstanding of 1981. “Yeah” I told my dad that Amber wanted to be the Purple Pie Man. You remember, the villain from Strawberry Shortcake. Of course she didn’t want to be that for Halloween; I just thought it would be totally funny. And, at least I didn’t choose Gargamel. In my defense though, she sometimes started it. I never, ever, got to sleep with Jiggy and she broke in half my favorite Grease record leaving me with only the second record with the crappy B-sides.
We would always make up though. Pretty ugly got old, she ended up being a cat that Halloween, when I had my first baby she taught me the meaning of karma, and we eventually learned to love those crappy B-sides.
Growing up in the 80’s if we weren’t forced to play outside, we were inside watching movies or listening to records. Our two favorite movies that we would watch over and over were Willy Wonka and Footloose. I can’t count how many times we watched Footloose and I’m fairly certain this movie is where her John Cougar obsession came from. We also loved music. We would usually listen to the records our parents had like Linda Rondstadt and Fleetwood Mac and then later, when we discovered “good music”, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and New Kids On The Block. My first record was Thriller and one day when we were home alone we put the stereo speaker in the front window and walked outside to try to recreate the music video.
I had one heck of, (or still ongoing if you ask my dad), awkward stage and where I was shy and quiet, Amber was the total opposite. She wasn’t shy at all. She would do anything from a solo dance routine in the talent show to calling boys I had a crush on for me because I was too chicken to do it myself to giving the telephone operator in Hawaii a fake phone number so we could call our friends in California for “free”. Amber did what she wanted and she owned it…a trait I always quietly admired.
In late 1995 we both learned we were expecting babies-her second and my first. It’s a little scary being pregnant for the first time and I found comfort in being pregnant at the same time as my sister so I would have someone to look to for advice. I’ll never forget being in labor and having Amber hold one of my legs while I gave birth. You probably can’t tell but I’m just a little bigger than she is and having had an epidural I’m pretty sure one of my legs alone weighed more than she did. I’ll never forget the look on her face while she tried with all her strength to hold my leg up before my mom took pity on her and took over. We loved having our girls so close in age; those two were the ones that if they were quiet, no good was coming out of it. We always laughed about how we basically gave birth to our own spitting images.
I’m so grateful that we got to spend time together a few weeks ago. Never mind the fact that our very last in-depth conversation was about 50 Shades of Grey, which I now unfortunately feel obligated to read, but I am so happy we had that time and I was able to hug her as she left and we both said “I love you” even though we didn’t know that would be the last time.
I know it has been, well in blog years, forever since I posted anything. I'm pretty damn sure no one ever comes here anymore anyway. I haven't been feeling funny lately. I lost my baby sister in September and I miss her. She was the one I would try out my one liners on and I knew if I could crack her up I was golden. Above is, for lack of better words, the eulogy I said at her memorial. I wanted to put it here to make sure I didn't forget these words. Hold your family tight this Christmas and always make sure you tell them how you feel; you may not get a tomorrow to do so.