Okay, half-sister, but I really prefer just sister. We have enough qualifiers in our lives and we don't need any more tonight. That's Beth on the left, then me, our dad, Mantel Man and Bocci. It was 1976, and it must have been spring because we were in Berkeley for our cousin's track meet.
Beth lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, then as now. She was everything I wanted to be: urban, attractive, thin, sophisticated, and sixteen. I made it to sixteen, eventually.
It's weird to talk about my
siblings; I say either "there were three of us" or "we four kids,"
depending upon the context. Every once in a while I forget and say, "my
sister blah blah blah" to someone who knew me before this day,
THE day, but who somehow missed the fact that I had a sister out there,
somewhere. The last time I was that careless was last year, when I
nearly knocked my best friend's mother for a loop; she had never heard
the story, somehow.
Beth probably doesn't remember this, but every Father's Day is an anniversary of sorts for us. About 1995 I decided I wanted to find Beth, with whom we'd had no contact for years, and I was going to use my new computer for the job. The idea was to find her as a sort of Father's Day present for Dad.
No luck. I gave up quickly.
And then, on Father's Day of that year, Beth called Dad, out of the blue. Great minds must think alike, or maybe related minds do? We've been a reunited family ever since.
Beth is still urban, attractive, thin and sophisticated. Neither of us are sixteen any longer, thank God. But I am still the scruffy kid with the goofy smile, somewhat bewildered and certainly enchanted by the idea of a big sister. I still don't know how to act around her, but I love her, and I am reminded every Father's Day, which is almost here. It's a little early to be celebrating Father's Day, but I'm writing this tonight because Beth just sent me this photo, out of the blue. The subject line read The Day.
Beth, you can't make me go to Berkeley again, sorry. Happy anniversary, Sistah.