Today is my little sister’s 21st birthday. No, not my
actual, born to my mother sister, but my other “little” who is clearly not so
little any more. We were matched up by Big Brothers, Big Sisters when she was
about twelve years old. I was living a completely different life back then;
single & childless. This means that I have known Ms. A longer than my
significant other, the father of my child. I believe that there is only one
person left in Hawaii who I have known longer than I have known her. After all
of this time, she has become a part of my family. We have technically aged out
of BBBS, because they boot you out when you turn 18, but there was never a
question of us terminating our relationship. How could we?
I spoke with her tonight. She had been out the night before at midnight
drinking and was going to have a go at it again. I understand these initial
days of excess. I told her not to drink too much. She laughed at me and told me
that of course she was going to drink too much. I told her not to drive with
any drunk people. She told me that she wouldn’t and last night they had a
designated driver; the girl with the learner’s permit.
Ms. A has not had an easy life but you would not know it. She has
always been mature beyond her years. She is smart and beautiful. We usually
make Halloween cookies together in my tiny kitchen. I will miss making them
with her this year. She is one of the people in my life who I love but never could
actually say it, till tonight. I believe that I am generally emotionally
distant; perhaps a coping mechanism. However, tonight, the distance, the
birthday, talking about making Halloween cookies (she would turn the sugar
cookie dough this dreadful gray color and we would freestyle headstones), I
found myself inconsolably homesick. Then there was a flurry of I miss yous and
some I love yous towards the end of the call and I could feel the overwhelming
sadness welling up. And I just wanted to be there to give her a big birthday
hug (& maybe even buy her a drink!) To just be there to be there. To fill
up the hole that I left in my Hawaii life. And it is a hole because my entire
Hawaii existence is still there. Like the frame of a house without the walls.
Still there and solidly existing with the wind blowing through it.