Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | November 21, 2006

tug of war was so yesterday

The end of the race was less exciting than the first.  “Do you want to just do the half?” Carlin asked as she sensed my pain.  In the midst of a sea of people and debris thrown all around me, my mind’s eye flashed to the previous Friday night.  Karenna, Ruby, had been sick all day, suffering from an infection.  Her physician prescribed her a liquid antibiotic.  Like most of her other medications it was placed in a syringe and given to her orally.  I watched as my sister struggled with her daughter’s 20-pound body and tried to rationalize with a 2-½ year old.  She needed to take the medicine, “to make her better.”   Ruby would have none of it, spiting the medicine on her face and down her shirt.  ‘She’s two, is all I could think, as her healthy four-year-old brother did his best to help while not understanding the difference between a paper towel and a tissue so “Mommy could wipe her up.” Snapping back to reality a time or two I said, “Let’s run for Ruby damn it.”

We finished, not as strong as I had hoped for.  I struggled and Carlin reminded me, “That’s why I’m the big sister.”  She waited until I could catch up, she waited until I caught my breath, as I’ve been amazed the way she catches her children’s breath.  It’s as though she set aside reserves for them, just in case they’ve played too hard and become winded. 

Growing up we wern’t always close. I stole her clothes and tried to sneak them back into her room before she got home…. don’t all sisters do that?  We fought, yelled, pulled hair, slammed doors on one another’s noses, then we laughed.  She’s seen me at my worst, mailed me letters from college, mailed letters to the hospital, and told me I was being a Bitch when I most needed to hear it.  Friends can’t always do that, sisters can.    Maybe that’s the tie that binds sisters, brothers, mothers, and fathers…cause a moment ago my Mother and I were yelling at one another – now we’re laughing. 

Maybe that’s it, maybe that’s just family. 

“You never know how strong your loved one’s are until you’ve seen them walk into the emergency room.”

Jodi Picoult – Author of My Sister’s Keeper

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m off to the moutains of Georgia and Tenn.



  1. Good for you Jessica. You did the run and that’s what counts. The paragraph where you describe your sibling relationship sounds all too familiar to me. Blood is very thick. You did it for Ruby! Now I have no excuse not to run this Sunday. Take care of yourself and have a great Turkey Day.

  2. Good for you for finishing. I’m so proud!!!! And Ruby will love her Aunt Jessica even more.

    By the way, if you choose to do the Angel thing…some great tips are don’t put the items in a box of your own. Go to the post office and ask for the larger Flat Rate boxes. They’re free so they can give you a whole stack…their not huge…but you can get more in there than you think. Trust me on this..use this box b/c no matter how heavy it is or where it’s going, it will only cost you $8.10 to mail, versus like $15 if you use a regular box. You’ll also have to fill out the large white customs form but that’s easy and they walk you through it in your approval letter from Angels. Also, I picked up most of my care package stuff at the Dollar Store..they have name brand stuff for $1…can’t beat that. Anyways, just a few tips. :o)

  3. safe travels, sass.

  4. Good travels and Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

  5. Sincerest congrats, Jess. I hope all of our combined donations will make a difference someday. Happy T-Giving to you and yours.

  6. I come from an Italian family and my roomate who is French Canadian can not seem to get the fact that I can tell my sister her hair looks really bad or that her attitude is becoming more and more like her mother-in-law. Its crazy how people DON’t get that sometimes… You don’t have to be close with your siblings because they not only have shared your dna but they have many of the same experiances. You may express them in your personality differently but your still from the same stock.

    Good Luck and hope she feels better!

  7. Catching up. Congrats on your results. Finishing to me is an accomplishment, never mind the time.


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