When my sister graduated from college I was pregnant with Skater. She sent many boxes ahead to my house, several of which were ruined in Hurricane Floyd’s flooding of my basement. From that time on, some of my sister’s things have been in my keeping. They have rotated in and out depending on her apartment size, but — I’m not ashamed to admit this with tears in my eyes — I was always glad to have the boxes and bags because it meant she’d always be back. For the record, I loveloveloved the nine months she lived with us right out of school. She helped with the baby and the toddler and she cooked and we ate and we laughed and laughed and laughed, until DB came downstairs and told us to stop laughing because nothing on TV could possibly be that funny. He only thought that because he wasn’t watching a documentary about what goes on during a facelift. Watching a doctor lift a face off of a skull is hysterical.
But now the boxes are up in my attic and she is a new olah, immigrant, living in a Tel Aviv sublet and studying for the dentistry board exams in Hebrew. I have cried untold times about this. Who will watch plastic surgery on TV with me now? Who will argue with me over which one of us is just slightly prettier? (I am, but give the kid a break it was a close race.)
When I went to my attic yesterday for an extra duffel bag for camp packing (second session starts soon and it’s our first summer to have all three go!) I saw one the right size filled with her stuff. I opened it to transfer the contents and I found:
clothes I guarantee she’ll never wear again
junk mail from eight years ago in a gift bag along with some tile samples from my kitchen re-do eight years ago
the party favor from our other sister’s wedding
two 9/10ths-empty bottles of Scotch
a book of T’hilim (Psalms)
a jewelry roll I gave her for being a bridesmaid in my wedding, which I’m sure she thought was lost, with some pretty nice jewelry in it
Oh boy, I better schedule a trip to Israel and bring her back her junk mail. I’m sure she’s missing it. I’m missing her.