Thursday, February 12, 2009

More Nostalgia . . . My Sister and I

My sister Debbie was born in 1950 when I was three. It took a couple weeks for me to stop calling her my baby brother as my dad had kept telling me throughout my mom's pregnancy that they were getting me a baby brother to play with and, on her birth, I soon found out that she was a sister and that as a playmate she was pretty much a washout. Even when she got older we were not soul mates but we mostly got along unless my mother got involved and she reverted to "mama's girl". Fortunately, my dad seemed to prefer me. I looked like him. Right now I can look in the mirror and I see my Aunt Eileen who my mom hated and said was ugly.

Deb liked dolls and girlie stuff. I liked games and books and sports. She was my mother's perfect child who never sassed or misbehaved and always got straight As. I was a rowdy lil' hell-raiser who spent a lot of time day-dreaming (or chatting with my classmates) but still got mostly As except for math (which I still hate to this day). She was the pretty one. I was too tall, too gawky, and too skinny. Debbie always had a boyfriend -- even in kindergarten. I didn't date until I went away to college and even then rarely "went steady" with anyone and that still hasn't changed. Still we were sort of friends. She was maid of honor in my wedding. I taught her how to cook.

She died on Thanksgiving Day in 1972 in a small plane crash that also took the lives of her boyfriend, his younger brother, and his brother's girlfriend. Three days later I gave birth to my son -- my mother's first grandchild. Talk about difficult. I was just glad that he was a boy. My mother never recovered from her death and I really believe she resents that I'm alive and her favorite isn't. My brother who was born when I was fifteen and she was twelve was too much like our dad to reach favorite status. To listen to my mom, my sister was a saint. It's really quite sad that she didn't appreciate our strengths but oh well . . . Mike and I are survivors and tough enough to get through without mom's dubious blessing.

While I was waxing nostalgic about my lost youth, I recalled more differences between us. In 1962 when the British invasion began she hung a poster of the Beatles in our room to my chagrin.

I retaliated with what Mom called an ugly photo of The Stones. I never said they were pretty but I liked their sound!!! Still do!!!

1962 was also a big year for medical shows and Debbie taped a photo of Dr. Kildare
on her side of the mirror over our dresser . . .

. . .while Ben Casey glared at me as I combed my hair in the morning.

Both of these instances showed her propensity for pretty while I appreciated (and still do) intensity. Hard to believe we grew up with the same mother. Then again, in high school my son liked Rap (he has since recovered) and Kate was into jazz and classical. (Guess which one was asked to turn her stereo UP? LOL)

Thanks for letting me share these memories with y'all!!!

AND what about y'all? Stones or Beatles? Kildare or Casey?

Happy Blogging!!!!!!!


  1. I don't remember Kildare and Casey, but I didn't like either the Stones or Beatles. Looking back now, I adore the Beatles, but in my time I liked Beach Boys. ha ha
    I loved your nostalgia note. I am very sad your sister died, and your mom felt the way she did. I never felt any sort of favoritism. I always felt like we were all loved the same.
    Got along like two peas in a pod with my 4-years younger sister and still do to this day. Never really related to my 4-years older sister, and still don't. Adored my 11-year younger brother and still do.
    Funny how under the same roof, with the same parents we all turned out different.
    Thanks for spurring the memories of my own childhood.
    have a great day, Kay, you turned out pretty wonderful, I'd say.

  2. Ben Casey and the Beatles all the way! I have a Beatles wallet on my desk by my Munsters lunchbox.

    I am sure your mother loves you. I'm an only child and never dealt with sibling rivalry, and I sometimes worry about whether each of my sons think I favor the other one more ( I don't).

    Look in the mirror again, Kay. You are a beautiful person!

  3. I loved Ben Casey.....but I liked Kildare too! I was going to marry Paul McCartney and cried when he married Linda instead of me! Never liked the Stones at all!

  4. I grew up with Kildare and Casey. My sister had a crush on Dr. Kildare. The first 45 I owned was "She loves you"...ya, ya, ya!!!

  5. The hurts we can inflict on our children by showing favoritism are really sad. I am sure you were loved more than you knew, but it's really hard (make that impossible) competing with a dead sibling.

    It is strange how children raised under the same roof with the same genetic make up can be so different, but it's a good thing we are. The world needs the feminine girls as well as the tomboys. You turned out just fine and if your Mom doesn't know that it's her problem.

  6. Kay, this post took me on an interesting trip down memory lane.

    I am 5 years older than my sister, and we never really had anything in common or to share until we were adults.

    And yes, we've had to work out the whole "mother liked you better" issue too.

    I'm delighted to say, however, that now we're both in our 50s, we're good friends and we share a lot more things than we ever did as children.

    It's all worked out in the end, but we've had the advantage of both being here to do this. I can't imagine how hard it would be to be compared to someone who has been imagined into perfection.

    Take heart, there are many of us out here in the "blogisphere" that consider you a favorite sister!!

  7. If you read my post about Rain, the Beatles tribute band, you might think I would choose them. However I loved the Stones. I must have been in nursing school during the medical shows.

    I agree with Darlene. I am sorry that you felt all those feelings. You cannot help how you feel, you just feel them. I wish it could have been happier....

  8. Wow, a definite walk down memory lane. Thanks for the research in getting these up for us to enjoy. I'm sorry your childhood was hard and that your mom has chosen to negate you and your brother. But, I know you have learned to cope over the years.


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