Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Irish Twins Separated after 51 Years

I hugged her goodbye and started to cry.  Don’t know when I will see her again, my light, my love, my heart, my strength, my SISTER.  Rolled my bag to curbside check-in and by the time I turned around she was gone. That’s when I started to sob.  There's no one more important in my life.

We are Irish Twins.  Fourteen months apart.  Always “Kathy & Erin”.   The photos of us when we were little – so cute – always together.  Our parents divorced before either of us turned five.  It was acrimonious at best – plus we were young and didn’t really understand.  We got good at packing suitcases for a weekend visits with one parent or the other.  We tormented each other in high school, liked the same boys, sang in the same choir, marched in the same band… always together.  She is one of the funniest people on the planet.

I went away to school for college, she stayed local.  Our Mom died at age 39 – we were 20-21.  I don’t know how we got through it, but we did – with the support of family, but always, with each other.   I began to travel to other parts of the world - but never for long - always back to her.

Our Father is out of our picture.  It’s been over 20 years.  We made choices as young women we felt were best for us.  Me first – her later.  While packing up 52 years of memorabilia, I found a letter she had written to him in the 90’s -  so straightforward and eloquent.  SO brave and strong.

She says that about me now, as I move my daily life from one coast to the other… 3,000 miles away - far away from dear, dear friends and family and this world we have built, across the country to other family, a different climate, way of living, no job at the moment.  For some reason I can’t explain,  it feels like the right choice – the next chapter, but I don’t feel brave, as I sit here with the crumpled, red, crying face.   For the first time through this six month process I feel the tiniest bit scared, and lonely already – without her –  my other half.

I love you Erin.  Always.  Forever.