You Get What You Need

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Twenty eight years ago my life drastically changed.

I didn't get what I asked for...

Looking back now I would tell my nearly 3-year-old self to get used to that. But perhaps I would also tell her that while she wasn't getting what she wanted, maybe she was getting what she needed. 

And that was a sister

Sure, "baby brother" may have been on the top of my Santa list, along with My Size Barbie and a gumball machine, but Santa had other plans that year.  He did get me a gumball machine...AND someone to share it with just five months later.

My sis and I didn't hit it off right away. First of all, she stole attention from me, which I didn't appreciate even as a toddler. Second, my parents started getting angry at me for taking things from her that were clearly mine. Like my food, my Barbies, my clothes, my hair bows, oh, and did I mention my attention?

Flash forward several years, sis and I are sharing the basement bedroom because additional "attention hogs" had come along. In effort to keep political peace (aka her mess off of "my" side of the room) I placed a masking tape barrier between her side and mine.

It is unfortunate for me to report to you that this did not keep us from having massive fights, which usually involved throwing things and blocking access to the door to go and "tell mom." Yet, through our many, many days and nights of trying to keep out of each other's way, sisterly-bonding had it's place and time.

And my most favorite time was Christmas morning.

Since sis and mine's bedroom was in the basement, away from the rest of our family, mom was nice and festive enough to give us our own little Christmas tree in our room for the season. Sis and I decorated it with (what I realize now as the outcast) ornaments, which we most-likely created in pre-school, and we usually made a string of popcorn garland to give it even more holiday flavor. But my favorite part of all of this was how we gave this tree purpose.

Recognizing that we had a tree, we (brilliant children that we were) realized it needed presents under it! In our brilliance we also remembered that we didn't have any money. So, instead of buying each other gifts to put under the tree, we did the next best thing. We gave each other things we already owned. 

Now, before you hem haw about the fact that this was not actual "gift giving," do you remember that often as a child, the toy you wanted most was not something new at the store, but something your sibling had? 

So that is what sis and I did. We would wrap up Barbie outfits, jewelry, hair bows, coloring books, and whatever other trinket we could think of that we knew each other liked. Neatly, in their toilet paper and Scotch tape wrapping, we would keep these gifts for each other under our popcorn garland tree until Christmas morning.

We all remember that excitement of Christmas morning as a child. Waking up at 5 a.m. ready to tear into presents. Well, sis and I had our "Pre-Christmas" gifts. So we were up at 2:30 a.m.

Those mornings that we spent opening our little packages, hugging each other and feeling so happy to have our own special time is just precious to me. Especially now since sis and I have spent so much time away from each other.


I began writing this blog abut 2:30 a.m.

It's not Christmas morning, but it feels like it to me. And for more than one reason it really makes me miss my sis. You see, I'd call her, but she's busy saving lives as an ER doctor in inner-city Los Angeles. Get this. I have another sis who is currently providing healthcare in the Philippines as a nurse. And in two weeks...that brother I asked for 28 years ago, is going to graduate from college.

Santa, and God, didn't give me right away what I wanted. Okay, he still doesn't give me what I want right when I ask! But time and time again he has given me what I need.

Twenty eight years ago he made me a big sister. Since then he has made me a friend, a student, an actress, a dancer, a singer, a waitress, a manager, a girlfriend, a niece, a cousin, an educator, a traveler and a grown woman. 

This morning he gives me the opportunity to enter the healthcare field myself. Not a path I would have seen myself asking for, but maybe a path I need. Maybe a path were I am needed. I'm just so thankful to have such a loving tribe around me.

These last few hours have felt like Christmas morning. I wish I was in the hospital to hug you, but maybe someday I will be. Happy Birthday, sis. And thank you for giving me my first title:


Sending sis off to Med school. Circa 2014. 

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