Little Sister


Sometimes you only know how much you love someone after you have left them behind. I was eighteen when I left home for university. I didn’t know it then, but I was never to return, except for holiday visits. My life had begun; I was on my way.

The day that Mom and Dad were to drive me to my university, I had carefully packed everything I thought I would need. The car was running. Mom and Dad were sitting behind the wheel waiting; when I suddenly remembered something important that I had forgotten in my room. I don’t recall why now, but I know that there was a sense of urgency about the whole thing at the time. Dad was not a patient man and he hated to travel anywhere. Based on a lifetime of previous trips with my father, I suspect that he wanted ‘to get the trip started so that he and Mom could come back home’.

Whatever the hurry, I went barrelling down the hallway to my room to grab whatever I had forgotten and came rushing back out, intent on getting back to the car before Dad lost his temper. And there, standing at the end of the hall, was my sister – my baby sister – my one and only sibling. I had forgotten about her altogether; had not even said good-by. I stopped dead. For a long, long moment, we just looked at one another. “Well, guess I’ll be going,” I finally mumbled, suddenly, inexplicably, shy.

“Yeah,” my sister responded, shifting from one leg to the other, also uncharacteristically quiet and devoid of her usual spark. She was so tiny at the time: she had had a bad bout of mono, topped by an even worse bout of tonsillitis, and although she was now taller than I was, she weighed less than a hundred pounds (45 kilos). We stood on opposite ends of the hallway for what felt like an eternity. Finally, I awkwardly shuffled toward her, in the direction of the front door. She didn’t move.  For want of something tangible to do, I reached out awkwardly to hug her.

And suddenly, the one person I thought hated me like no other, was holding onto me like she would never let go, her little body shaking with deep, racking sobs. I held her, first in reflex, and then in wonder. I understood for the first time in my life, how completely my sister loved me. Me!

The thing is, I loved my sister, too, yes, but it felt to me that we had been fighting with one another since she had been born, when I was almost three years old. She was the kind of kid who was always in trouble; always up to something. She was loud; she had a foul mouth. She had a terrible temper. I had covered up for her so many times: never hit her back when she pummelled me; artfully covered a hole she had kicked in my bedroom wall for so long, that by the time my parents found it, so much time had gone by that it was useless to get angry with her for it. I had had the dubious distinction of waking her for school for the past seven years. It usually took at least three tries, and I learned to be well out of her way by the time she finally got out of bed and stalked bad-temperedly into the bathroom. My sister was not one to be crossed, especially first thing in the morning.

And yet here she was, sobbing like a small child onto my shoulder, as if her world had ended. How could I not have known the depth of her feelings for me…

Patti Moore Wilson/©


Author: Patti Moore Wilson, wednesdayschild2

I write what I feel. And I rarely know exactly what I feel until I write. I have lived long enough to have known many joys and many sorrows. I have made many mistakes; I have forgiven myself for a few… I have learned that there are lessons in every step of this journey, if we only take the time to pay attention… I hope you will feel free to pick and choose the stories that resonate for you…

13 thoughts on “Little Sister”

  1. WOW! I am beginning to feel like I know you! Your writing brings by so much. My brother and I had a similar relationship. He and I became best friends as adults but growing up we HATED each other. Wouldn’t stay in the same room. It’s all in a link on my blog-‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much… I hope to write fiction one day but for now I seem to be most inspired when telling my own story. People ARE starting to share their own stories with me; perhaps I will start writing about those too (with their permission, of course). I checked out your link. I am so sorry that you lost your brother but so touched to see how you have so wonderfully been honouring his memory… thank you so much for sharing…❤️


  2. This is so wonderful and I teared up at the part when you were leaving for Uni. I’m a sister to a brother, who I love, but we don’t have anything as great a relationship as my two daughters have. Three years ago my eldest moved to NZ and we had a similar scene between my 3 kids at the airport. She has moved away again, but is at least in the same country now, but it’s made their relationship stronger. My mum was JUST commenting today about how beautiful it was to see my girls hugging and kissing each other during a recent homecoming, and it just makes me feel enormous love and pride that they adore each other so much. I’ve been relegated, but I don’t mind that a bit. I love this blog!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I do love your comments and your insights…thank you so much… it is lovely to hear about your daughters; my sister and I have had our ups and downs…took us a while to earn the deep friendship we share now. I am so grateful for how far she and I have come. So glad you are enjoying my blog…that means more to me than I know how to say…❤️


      1. Thank you x My girls were not friends for so long that I thought they would never be. The three of us went camping a few years ago and it was on that trip that I realised that something had changed. I looked round at them sitting heads together, thick as thieves, giggling at something on the phones and it was the sweetest feeling. They regularly tell each other “I love you”. They’re very different but I enjoy them so MUCH together. It’s so much easier that way, now that they’re not bickering or hating one another. ❤ My girls are 19 & 23. How old were you and your sister when that happened?

        Liked by 1 person

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