Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My sister, my friend

Lori and me in one of our first day of school photos (Circa 1978)
She's only three years, 352 days younger than me. So there were a few years before she was born that I was the only child. I'm pretty sure I didn't take as much advantage as I could of that situation, but I can't really blame my former four year old self.

By the time she was born I had lived in both Texas and Michigan, but when my sister, Lori, came into the picture, Michigan was a distant spot in my families rear view mirror. Neither of my parents had ever lived that far north and I think the stark cold winter made my mom long for the Texas sun and sky.

I think by the time Lori arrived I had learned to become a bit more of an independent soul. She loved my mom. There was an extra special bond there. Lori had blond curly hair that when it was dried and if my mom brushed it out everyone thought it looked like a lion's mane. It was the early 1970s and let her unruly locks were perfectly acceptable in the peace culture that surrounded us.

I think my most vivid memories of my sister were when lived in a Southwest Houston neighborhood and where I gained the understanding of friendships at the deepest level. Lori and I were fast friends with the neighborhood kids. Our parents were all friends and our moms would take turns shopping at the Houston, Texas farmers market once a week or every other week, I'm not quite sure. Their little co-op would bring a bounty of fresh veggies and fruit.

Then in my third grade year our family moved to Springfield, Missouri, at the time I learned to associate my surroundings with the land where Laura Ingalls of Little House on the Prairie once lived. Our family left behind the comforts of home and friends, so it was just me and Lori. We played around our farm type house in Missouri, built forts out of the snow and took walks in our back 40. We only stayed there for a year.

Fourth grade rolled around and we had moved to West Columbia, Texas, where my mom had grown up and my grandparents still lived. Lori started kindergarten there and I still have our first day of school pictures. Each year we posed with our fancy new school year threads and whatever lunch box was what we deemed to be the coolest. I look back at these photos and think did we choose those clothes or did our mom and whoever it was, what were they thinking? I'm sure you have photos like that from your childhood too.

We spent many a day during our summers and after school riding bikes and just being kids. There are many fun memories.

By my senior year, my dad's occupation had changed and we moved to Lake Jackson, Texas, where my parents and Lori and I, started what would be the first church my dad founded. Yep, we were the preacher;s daughters. I was wrapping up my high school years and Lori was embarking on hers. In 1986, I left for Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Lori started her years at Brazoswood, a school much larger than the one where I graduated.

My sister Lori is in front holding one of her grandkids (2011)
I wouldn't say we were the closest of sisters. We liked each other, but we had such different lives and interests. After Lori's high school graduation she married and started a family, while after my college years I focused on work.

Now we're both in our second marriages and her family's grown and she has grandkids and most recently a beach house. Bonus!

It's been an amazing journey with my sister. We've both called each other for advice. We love keeping up with each other on Facebook and see each other when we're able. I wouldn't have traded my sister for anyone in the world. I see her as an amazing force of strength and courage and blessed that she's a part of my life.

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