My sister and I have not seen each other since 2003, in September, when I went home, to Romania, to visit family. This year, after being a Canadian resident for over a year now, she was granted a visa to come and visit me for a week. It was a visit of love, and memories we both hold dear; a visit of recollection and of finding each other again, in each other’s arms. It was like coming home, after a long and unfriendly journey. It opened up a new world for me: the world seen and enjoyed through HER eyes. It recharged batteries and put new smiles on our faces. It gave us (emotional) food to live off of for another stretch of time. Here are some highlights:
- we both remembered how different we are, and yet how complimentary: she’s patient, I have a short fuse; she has a sweet tooth, I don’t; she loves shopping, and I dread it; she likes chocolate, me-vanilla; she-gold, me-silver; she is warm natured, and me- (you guessed it!)-cold natured;
- I have lived in the West for a while now, and she’s been here for just over a year: so, things like using a credit card and paying for the gas at the pump are still novelties to her, and I thrive on seeing how people discover things like these, and open their eyes to a world that’s taken for granted by all of us here everyday;
- She’s never used chop sticks, so, when they came wrapped up in the handy wrapper, and she pulled them out, she thought she has to “stab” the rolls with them: she had no idea they need to be “separated” and the food needs to be picked up with them– cute!
- She thinks that “our” Walmart shopping carts are “so new and stylish” (Jeff will tell you all about our hatred for them!!) compared to the ones in Canada (I guess that’s the Big City inheritance, huh?!), which are always dirty, off centered and hard to push;
- She discovered and loved cheesecake; she also likes bagels and sushi – things I’ve been enjoying for years and we didn’t grow up with; she also did not know there are several ways to cook an egg, or that there are several types of bread you can toast in the morning;
- She is still the same ol’ clumsy baby sister I remembered: every morning, and I mean EVERY single time of every single morning she spent with me, she spills the coffee, while trying to pour it into a cup; she dropped the trunk of my car on my head and shoulder, giving me a bruise, after a whole day of driving; she pulls one thing off a shelf in a CatStore, and several others fall down, break to pieces, including things that are maybe 3-4 feet away from us, and we’re not even touching;
- she also fears and hates insects: the first few days she wanted to enjoy my balcony, but would not go out there alone; she needed me there to make sure there are no spiders; when we went to Myrtle Beach, to the Alligator Adventure Zoo, in the dark room full of enormous, scaly serpents, she screamed out of her wits, not because of the huge crawlers, but because of a “Palmetto bug” on the floor; she wanted out at once, without really minding at all that Boa’s and Pythons that she’s never seen before are waiting to be seen only a few feet away from her; I screamed with her and felt silly, but the bonding made us laugh hysterically afterwards! This is a girl who enjoys the scariest horror flick once in a while, too!- cute, again;
- She pressed the button for our floor (11th) in the elevator, with an armful of shopping bags, thus setting off the alarm button as well, and the security people started talking to us and asking us what is wrong in the elevator; she was quiet and giggling; like the good big sister, always protecting her, I had to speak up: “ I have no idea what just made that turn off, ma’am, but thanks for checking on us. We’re fine”- do you remember when we had to lie for them to our parents about her first kiss that she would not share with anyone but us?! Yeah!
- We both enjoyed all the pets we met including my own tremendously; we remembered our cat, Dolly, that we lost this year, and remembered how pets can bring people together into unconditional love;
- I got a chance again to tuck her in at night, the way I used to do growing up, and sharing a bed with her till I was 21;
- This past heavenly week, I loved cooking for her, feeding her, spoiling her with attention, gifts and driving her around; I fussed at her for not taking her cold medicine and not taking better care of her health; I got to play the Big Sister role once again and that is a priceless, God given gift; and she got to play the Little Sister role and she played it with ease and smiles and giggles, as I always remember she would.
We’re not the small children, growing up in Romania anymore; we’re the grown women of today, but it’s nice once in a while to play kids and dive into a one week vacation with one of the people you’ll always love the most and the most unconditionally. It was one short week, that went by fast, but I would not trade it for the world. I will be forever grateful for every second of it. And pray for the next one to come here soon! Love you lots, Andy!