Cindy, my sister. Still in her 20's. She is well dressed, As in "those shoes cost more than my whole family's wardrobe". But that is not hard to do nowadays.
She knows obviously, that I am her sister.
This fact hit me first.
"So, you know I am your sister and not your Aunt? When did you find out? And why no sisterly love before this?"
O.k. so at this point I was thinking how I could have used a sister since Ian left. I could have used a babysitter every now and then. I could have used a shoulder to cry on. My kids could have used a stable person around while I was falling apart.
Yeah, how long did she know?
"I tell you our mother is dead, and that is what you have to ask me?" Cindy vex perplexed. Her brows and furled and she looked at the ground to me to the sky to the rolling hills. "Don't you care?"
"I care more that you know I am your sister. I care more that you weren't around. I care to know how long." I said quickly.
She seems upset. Real upset. I had all but forgotten she and her brother existed, I almost forgot Bobbi existed. Occasionally I wonder what happened to them, whether or not they were still alive. But the thoughts didn't last long and they were far and years between.
"She was a mother to you, I get that. But you need to understand, she was not to me, nor was she that sister she pretended to be either. I didn't loose a mother, but knowing I had a sister who didn't care to contact me until now, that is a slight more important to me." I looked her straight in her harsh looking eyes. "I a, sorry for your loss, but I lost her a very long time ago. I thing it was about 8 months and 29 days before my birth. I hope you can understand my life has been very different from yours, from what little I can remember of you." I sighed and she softened.
Cindy sighed heavily too.
"I realized when you called Granny, Grandmother. I heard them talk hen they thought I was asleep. I heard Mother on the phone when you had the baby." she looked towards the car. "Your first baby." she corrected herself. "I picked up the other receiver. I heard about your brother. But after that, after that... I was young. Very young at the time. I kept it in the back of my head. When Granny died I hoped to talk to you at the wake or funeral, but you never came. No-one talked about you. When I asked where you were, I was told nobody knew." She said looking me right in the eye.
Well this seemed like a emotional sister conversation that I had seen other sisters have. I smiled. She looked confused. I hugged her. She seemed confused.
"Just like real sisters. " I said as I let her go.
"What?!" She recoiled back a little
" We see things different just like real sisters. " I smiled. " we argue the point like real sisters." I smiled again. "I could use a sister."
She smiled a little, not sure what to think. Here begins the awkward silence.
In the awkward silence my daughters came out of the car. The came and stood around me. They looked at her.
Unlike my for-mothers, I don't believe children are imbeciles or deaf. I know they are very good listeners.
"This is your aunt Cindy. "
They all looked at her wide eyed. They have gone through a lot of aunts and uncles that are no longer here. They are removed from family so easily. It is the story of almost every divorced kid. At this moment being torn away from the commune made me realized I knew this feeling too. From then on you precede with caution.
"Hello, girls." Cindy said as she bent down to little Mercy and smiled.
That was the beginning of my crazy month.
Some times you have to take time out in your life to have a crazy time.
Now I know what you might be thinking, what was all that bathtub gin about, seemed pretty crazy. Naw, that was just coping. And there is nothing like your mother dying to put just coping over the edge to crazy for a while.
If I had someone to watch the girls, I probably would have gone crazy after Ian left. I couldn't afford to. I had 4 babies. One of them literally a baby.
Now I have Cindy. I took some time to digest everything. Away from the girls.
Cindy caught me up. Cancer. Brest. Genetic kind. 6 months ago. No-one told me. No one called me. No one tracked me down until 6 months later.
Cindy finished up her schooling in Boston. Sandra. Sandra was watching over her, keeping tabs on her. She finally told her she should look me up. She should hunt me down since we lived in the same state, than slipped her my address. Took her another 6 weeks to do it.
I should be upset with Sandra and Carol for not telling me. They told Cindy it was her responsibility to tell me. To find me. To make some links back. They were right of course.
After a week at my house, after making calls to Sandra and Carol, I figured it was safe enough to leave the girls with Cindy. She was taking time off between school and life. She just broke up with her fiance she had at school. In the end they wanted different things. Nothing earth-shattering bad. She was looking for something that would take her mind off it, so many reasons why we end up where we end up, the right thing done for other reasons, still turns out to be the right thing.
She doesn't really know anything about me beyond the girl she saw so many years ago and the woman, single mother, 4 girls, slightly a bit of a train wreck she sees before her. Everything in between didn't happen, didn't exists, she never knew butterfly. It is funny , we only see people as what we see them at during that moment of time. It is hard to see them as anything else. I think that is why it is so hard to change. When people put you in a role, they like you to keep playing it. Even yourself. You get caught up in it. Role of a lifetime. This is why moving is so popular among women in my situation. You get to get a new role of a lifetime.
Best place to go crazy? Not in the town you live in. Hell no. Find a city. One far enough away you are not about to meet up with the townsfolk.
I kissed my babies goodbye. I pack my old steel guitar and a small bag with a few changes of clothes. Boston your my town. I remember how free I felt there. How bound I felt there. But mostly how young I was there. Crazy is the gift of youth and old age. You are allowed to be off center without too much judgement. In between we yearn for pieces of its sweet freedom.
Well that was my plan when I drove to Boston that last summer's day, to go crazy for a while, try to recapture my youth. Hell I promised myself I wouldn't even look at a mirror fir the time I was there.