My Sister, My Silver Star
My sister celebrated her ten-year wedding anniversary two weeks ago. I wrote about that here, but neglected to mention one important thing: that she and her husband would be celebrating it with me.
After a family walk, they left their daughter with me and enjoyed a couple of beers at a local beer house. My sister, unused to drinking, was plastered after only a couple of beers. Her messages to that effect were adorable.
The weekend flew. We managed neither our planned trip to Disneyland nor an outing to a bridal boutique to shop for dresses, yet not all was a wash. Knowing my sister, brother-in-law and niece were all just a room away made for much sounder than usual sleep. Listening to my son attempt negotiations with his younger cousin made me chuckle: “You have to be quiet, A. That’s the deal! That’s how you get to sleep in my room. That’s the deal!” A trip to the ocean made me feel my mom was especially close, for even our junker cars could usually make it to the Oregon coast on a pocketful of change.
The weekend after my sister left, our dear, mutual friend Sarah came to visit. My fiancee and Sarah’s husband, whom both
Silver Star Rache and I consider our non-biological brother, agreed to watch our kiddos so Sarah and I could go bridal dress shopping.
As I tried on dresses, Sarah told me about her and Rache’s trip to find bridesmaids dresses in our hometown. Apparently the lady who helped them try on their dresses was horrified I was allowing bridesmaids their choice between two shades of green on my big day. I cracked up when Sarah gave her “oh-hell-no” look and recounted her response, “I don’t think she really cares what you think!”
I said, “I wish you’d called, ’cause I’d have been happy to confirm!”
We texted my sister frequently so she’d feel like she was there with us. We found The Dress within an hour, thanks to the help of a lovely clerk who bore an eerie (but pleasing) resemblance to Buffy’s first college roommate. I couldn’t help but feel extra magic in that, since one-half of Sarah’s friendship test for me was my response to an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
I wrote this about the dress-shopping experience, and sharing it with Sarah (aka, for reasons I no longer recall, “Darth”):
Today my friend Darth took me bridal dress shopping. I found The Dress, which was awesome, but more importantly did so in awesome company.
As we drove away from the shop, Darth keyed up Everclear. Goosebumps rolled down both our arms as we sang along to “Learning How to Smile,” which came out a couple of days before we road tripped to L.A. a decade ago . . . making it the soundtrack for that amazing trip, which led me to move here, and to the life I love now.
Full circles have never felt as beautiful as they do at this very moment.
That evening, I texted Rache to say that I wish she could have been there in person. Though she was glad it was Sarah and not a stranger-to-her who helped me find The Dress, I know it saddened her that she wasn’t the one there helping me find it. But the truth is this:
She may have not been with me in person, but she is interwoven into the fabrics of my heart, my spirit, my soul. Her forgiveness and ability to see the goodness in me even when I’ve been grim or grumpy have been an intrinsic part of my confidence throughout life. Since before she could talk, she has taught me about unconditional love. Thanks to her tenacity and patience throughout the 33 years of life we have shared, I have known down to an atomic level that I never walk alone.
She may not have been standing next to me as I tried on those dresses, but she didn’t have to be. She is in my every footstep, my every breath, my every heartache and my every chuckle, every second of every minute of my every day. On my wedding day, I don’t think it will matter where she was in space when I tried on The Dress.
She will be nearest and dearest me for the wearing that counts the most, not only my matron of honor but–forever and always–my Silver Star.