So many people have asked me how I feel about my sister leaving for an indefinite period of time. I try to come up with a sufficiently meaningful answer, but it seems to fall short every time.
Because frankly, I’m trying not to think about it.
I took a walk down memory lane the other day and read some old pieces from an “anonymous” dating column that my sister and I used to write. In one, I noted my favorite question that we received over and over in the early days of my Missoula residence, before people were used to the pair of us.
“Are you guys twins?” “No.” “Are you sure?” “Um, yeah.”
These days, I’m not so sure.
My sister knows me better than anyone else on this earth. She knows what I’m thinking before I say it. We finish each other’s sentences. We communicate telepathically. We have been known to walk out of our separate houses wearing the exact same outfit – on multiple occasions (this is not an exaggeration; we can offer specific examples).
She has guided me through my broken hearts. She’s my adventure buddy. She gives me the best advice – even when I don’t want it, because she’s the only one who knows I need it. She’s my cheerleader, my wingwoman, my singular peanut gallery.
There is something about having ultimate faith in the strength of the other that is very rare.
When I still lived in L.A., my sister told me that one day we would live next door and our children would play together. I didn’t believe it. Now, I can’t imagine the day when we won’t share a fence, or even a wall. When our fence is an ocean, and she can’t finish my sentences because the radio waves can’t connect us to begin them.
I am incredibly lucky that I am surrounded by friends and family who will move to fill the empty space she leaves in her wake. Sometimes, I think I am so lucky that it takes my breath away.
But there will still be space.
Just wait – one day in April, I will have an urge to wear an orange sarong in the Montana rain. One day in July, my sister will search for heels to wear out on the town in the islands.
And in December, we will meet each other in a tropical airport wearing the same faith in the strength of each other.