Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Sister and BFF, Jane

I was going to write about Terlingua, but first I have to tell you about my sister, Jane. My BFF. She is coming over to visit today and I'm really looking forward to seeing her. She has a very busy life, so it has been awhile since we had a chance to have "in person" time.

She is not quite two years older than me. When we were very little, people sometimes thought we were twins. We don't look alike, but we were pretty much joined at the hip in our early years, so I understand why people thought that. We colored together, bent over our books intent on achieving new levels of creativity, despite the fact that we were, at that time, color-in-the-lines kind of gals. We made clothes for our paper dolls, designing women that we were. Natalie Wood and Joanne Woodward come to mind. We picked them out at a Five and Dime, on a rare trip to The Cities.

When I finally got my Barbie Doll, we competed for the love of Little Joe in our imaginary lives of Barbie and friend. I decided, after too much irritation, to choose Adam instead. His dark good looks and intelligence (he was a well-read man) was more to my liking anyway. Who needed Little Joe's charming smile. Right now, Hoss is looking pretty good. He had a kindness about him...  But, I digress.

She's the one who was always there helping me to find the Perfect Fort, the Perfect Picnic spot, and the one to tell me the facts of life, all mentioned in previous posts. Jane and I smoked our first cigarette together, out behind the garage, sitting on Dad's upturned boat. We "borrowed"  it from our cousin Mickey, who probably knew we'd be sorry. And, boy, were we. I still remember how sick I felt. Glad I got that over with early.

We danced the Loco Motion in the living room, practicing for my first school dance and she was there the first time I was allowed to go to the Purple Peanut. It was a local dance place, with live bands playing every Wednesday and Saturday night. The very first guy I danced with at the Peanut was, unbeknownst to us at the time, her future husband. Small towns are like that. She gave me sought after, and probably much needed, advice. We were each others wing-woman. We both fell in love with Rusty, a summer friend (who remains a dear friend to both of us to this day). We vied for his attention, until Rusty brought Bill with him one summer and due to Rusty's lingering affection for my sister, my attention turned elsewhere. Bill was my early Jack Kerouac.

We both married young and had children, young, spending time together as often as possible, helping each other get through the hard times. And there were some hard times.

We both fell in love with visiting antique shops, each of us adding to our collections as often as possible. It was tough sometimes to step aside when something caught our eyes at the same time. I was into anything bark cloth. One Christmas she gave me an incredible quilt she'd found at a second-hand store with a variety of beautiful squares, a bark cloth extravaganza. It was accompanied by a very old glove box with a beautiful image of an Indian chief gracing its cover. To top it all off, she had in her possession a few small home-made gift cards our mother had made before her passing. She used one for this gift. It was perfect. They remain among my prized possessions.

She continues to give me a wise and loving ear from time to time, whenever I need a non-judgmental visit with someone who knows me, and loves me in spite of it.

Jane is one of the most giving people I know. When my parents needed a lot of care, she was there more than anyone else, with her love and attention. After raising four children of her own, she is now playing a major role in the raising of her grandchild, CeCe, and doing a beautiful job of it. She continues to work in an assisted living apartment complex helping the elderly with their daily lives. And, I know she brings joy to their lives every day. She lives in a three-story Victorian house painted yellow and raspberry, with a beautiful yard every summer and many hanging baskets. She also has a really quaint place on a canal off the Gulf of Mexico in Port Isabel, Texas. It's yellow and white with a porch overlooking the water, where I love to have morning coffee with her in the spring. Everyone that visits talks about the wonderful, very peaceful energy there.

Here's a picture of Jane when she was about 5. What a poseur (I say, with deep affection).

And one of her today. She's still beautiful, inside and out.


  1. Teresa, you are very blessed to have a sister like Jane. She sounds like a beautiful person. I remember so well playing with paper dolls, and Barbie and Ken. Those were the days! So many activities that we actually had to use our imagination for.

  2. Oh! Did you see Jeff Bridges won the Golden Globe for best actor?! Have you seen the movie yet?

  3. What a lovely tribute to your sister. How lucky you are to have a person like that in your life. I hope she appreciates you as much.

  4. My sisters are such a gift to me, always my best friends, no matter what. This is a beautiful tribute to your sis. Made my heart smile. :)

  5. Oh, Teresa, we could have all done the Loco Motion together. What a fun time! Can hear the music, feel the beat movin'! What a lovely tribute to your beautiful sister. You're still twins who move in harmony, feel life together. You're both very blessed!

  6. Yes! And, Thank you all for sharing this with me!

  7. I haven't been to your blog for at least a couple weeks and what a nice post for me to find and start out with now that I'm back here to catch up. I always love reading about Mom now and then on your blog and your different adventures and experiences.....and you're right about her, especially about how she brings joy to the folks at the Highrise each and every day. I am certain of that!

  8. I know she's made my world a better place. Can't imagine life without her.

  9. wow, this was such a beautiful post..I take my mama for granted ya have blessed me with a beautiful reminder of just how very special she is and in the midst of doing just that, you have also reminded me how very special you are. What a gift you have and I loved reading that post...tears streaming down my face as I write this to you, this post "simply" made my day

    I love you....Dani

  10. Oh, dear girl, your response has made mine :)
    I am So happy to hear from you... and so very grateful for your kind words.

    I love you, too...