Thursday, 10 June 2010

Writing Workshop: Ever So Lonely

I know, I'm pants, but this weeks Sleep is For the Weak's Writing Workshop struck a bit of a cord with me, and I have chosen the category of Lost. 

So, here's mine:

Today is my younger sister's 25th birthday. There is 3 years between us officially, but a lifetime of difference in reality.

We haven't spoken in about 8 years, I suppose. 

Its hard when a family falls out, as previous good relationships that you have fond memories of, can become clouded by all the rows and suspicions and anger that encircles the whole unit. Sides are chosen.

When we were kids, we used to spend all our time together, hanging out watching TV, or playing in the garden.

As we got older, and got into different schools, different circles and different music and clothes, we'd still make time for lazing on the sofa together.

I used to take the blame for stuff she did, as I was the oldest. Not because she ever asked, just because I felt I had to protect her. I didn't think she could handle being told off, she was always so petite, so small.

A few memories I have I laugh about, and I hope in a way she does too.

One is when we were on a holiday camp as kids. It had been raining the whole holiday (it always did the minute we set off). We had been sent to go to the toilet block, just down the path. 

Wearing summer clothes and flip flops (the white plastic kind with the rubbery toe bits), we had been told to hold hands there and back. I felt quite responsible being asked to take her alone.

Until she slipped in a massive mud puddle. It covered her almost immediately. She was always small for age.

On trying to help her up, and trying not to laugh for fear of making my little sister cry, I slipped too. 

Mud Monsters. 

The more we tried to get out that puddle, the more we fell in and got covered. The more we laughed. 

Swamp Monsters. 

Trekking back, we still laughed, re in-acting the fall and the squelch. But as we got closer to the orange beacon that was our trailer tent home, I started to think "Mum's gonna Kill me".

We went in the tent. My Dad saw us first, and called my Mum from the bed bit, and on seeing us she went crazy. But when my sister explained, in detail, with actions and noises, my Dad started to laugh. He had to leave the tent he was laughing so hard. My Mum was not amused.

But everytime we looked at each other, for months after, we would laugh at the memory. I still laugh now when I see a mud puddle.

Another memory I have is of something we did on more than one occasion.
We had separate rooms when we grew out of the space of my room, but when we had both been told off for being naughty, we'd be sent to our rooms, and told not to leave until we were told to. Or to talk to each other.

So, we got round it.

Our doors were next to each other, with a small step dividing them, but with daring (and listening out for my parents leaving the living room), we could open our doors and slide a note under the others door.

Mostly, these notes would bemoan the harshness of our being locked in our rooms, how miserable our parents were, and we eventually become an exercise on trying to the other to make a loud noise or to laugh. I had one still when I left home, in pencil, with her neat (even then) handwriting and my chunky scrawl.

She would follow my lead- even if it meant causing herself injury. Like when I showed off my skills at racing up the stairs, and springing onto her bed, missing the gap and then landing on the old toy trunk. Except when she tried with her little legs, she missed the bed land entirely, and fell in the gap between the bed and the trunk. Opps. 

She was a good sport- everyday from the age of 8 (me) and 5 (her) I would go up to bed a little before her, hide behind her bedroom door, and jump out at her, shouting "Boo". She must have known I would do it. I did it until I left home. But she always screamed. I just used to think she was scared, now I know she didn't want to disappoint her daft sister.

Of all my family, she is the person I miss. When I was pregnant, so where a few mates, and they would go out with their sisters to buy baby stuff. I never said anything, not even to Elder, but it made me cry that I couldn't do the same with mine.

I feel the loss of my sister, it makes me feel lonely.

Happy Birthday Hannah


  1. What a beautiful (and also very sad) post x

  2. My mum fell apart from her two siblings and so has drummed into us that you never walk away from family no matter how bad it is, that you always give them a bit of space and take it on the chin - I hate that its only because she hasn't spoken to her brother for 40 years that she knows this

    I'm so sorry you have to go through this awful feeling too

  3. I'm estranged from my mum, my dad and my brother, over a 25 year timeframe, not all at once, different contexts but ultimatly the same reason.

    It's the price love. The price you pay for not having to live with the contact and the baggage that invades you life as a consequence.

    Nothing is free, and I read you post and saw my own pangs. A mourning for the anticipated future together that didn't happen.

    I think it was a good idea (not at all pants) to write about it, like a wound that still opens a little from time to time it needs airing and cleaning and inspecting. That is how it heals leaving a fading scar.

    You did the right thing not slapping a plaster on it to hide it and pretend it wasn't there.

  4. Such a sad but beautifully written piece!

    It's always terribly sad when families fall out. Unfortunately sometimes the hurt runs so deep that they never make up.

    My husband hasn't spoken to his sister for nearly two years and I haven't spoken to my cousins for over three.

    Sometimes I think that life is really to short, but then both sides are far too proud to make the first move.


  5. This struck a chord with me as my oldest brother has been estranged from all of us for a few years now. I too have great memories our childhood years and I treasure those when I miss him hte most.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this with doesn't sound like it was an easy thing to do. You have so many fond memories of your sis, its lovely. Life can be cruel sometimes when a wedge is thrust between people who love each other. xx

  7. Lovely memories of your sister. I hope she gets to see this one day and see how much you love her.

    I hope you find a way to reconnect one day. It must be a hard loss to carry around with you.

  8. Make contact... It was a lovely piece of writing - funny yet poignant - really excellent. I hope yuor sister reads it too.

    But please consider making contact, don't leave it till its too late xx


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