In the middle of all this I miss my sis

Column by Andrea W. Doray
Posted 5/27/20

My sister Joyce and I want to do our parts to contain the spread of Covid-19. We’ve observed directives to stay apart and to limit the people we’re in contact with. And I miss her. We grew up in …

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In the middle of all this I miss my sis

Posted

My sister Joyce and I want to do our parts to contain the spread of Covid-19. We’ve observed directives to stay apart and to limit the people we’re in contact with. And I miss her.

We grew up in Monte Vista, a small town in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado. It was the kind of town where your mom could barely keep her hands on the steering wheel because she was always waving at someone she knew.

The kind of town where a blissfully unaware grade-schooler could tell the cashier at the dime store that her dad was her credit card. The kind of town where someone at the station pumped your gas, where you could just walk to your 50-cents-an-hour babysitting gigs, where your neighbors lined the streets for a parade three days in a row during Ski-Hi Stampede.

When Joyce and I shared a room as youngsters, I’d throw stuffed animals at her just as she fell asleep, or, better yet, sneak into her bed if she got up for something and then grab her when she got back in.

In two completely accidental incidents – some 15 years apart – I knocked out Joyce’s front teeth when she inadvertently stepped in front of my swing, and she tumbled me down a flight of stairs after I caught the football at the top and she was unable to curb her tackle.

We’ve had girls’ weekends, including one in Breckenridge where we tried out rollerblades. Joyce made it down the sidewalk and across the bridge just fine. I did not. I grabbed the railing to slow my speed, my rollerbladed feet swung out from under me, and I was hanging over the Blue River until she rescued me.

Joyce also shares her family with me … the compassionate husband she met during college years. A daughter who shares my middle name and pretty-darn-close-to-the-same eyes. A son who is also my godson, and who once led me out into their yard and handed me a little bottle: “I know how much you like to blow bubbles, Auntie.”

And, of course, Joyce and I have supported and helped each other navigate life’s inevitable bumps. That’s why, now at this crazy time, I miss my sister more than usual.

Both our households have been diligent about the whole stay-at-home, safer-at-home thing (she better than I at disinfecting every molecule). We haven’t seen each other for more than two months, nearly three, in fact.

There’s good reason: in our extended families, relatives are seriously ill. Close friends have gone to the hospital, and even places where we’ve ventured out – hardware stores, supermarkets – are experiencing outbreaks.

We know we’re all in this together. Joyce sewed masks for Children’s Hospital, and I’ve made do (or, really, made great) with what’s in my pantry and freezer. We take care of the people we love and care about people we don’t even know.

So now, finally, with advice from scientists and guidance from local officials, we plan to get together: socially distant coffee on the deck, virtual concerts across the room from each other, potlucks with fewer than 10 people. Her whole family is home now and I can’t wait to see them. I’ve missed you, Baby Sis!

Best wishes for you and your families to stay safe and well.

Andrea Doray is a writer who really doesn’t mind wearing a mask.. Contact her at a.doray@andreadoray.com.

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