Susan's Blog

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Today I was in New Hampshire visiting Ned’s dad and stepmom. It was a gorgeous, sweet day, with tuna sandwiches and homemade pickles, and canoeing and tanning and playing in a quiet, clear pond. But part of myself was somewhere else, with my sister.

Laura and I are nineteen months apart (she is older). We have been close most of our lives, but hit a bad patch when my kids were younger; actually, it was about a year ago now that things got really good between us. As most of these things go, we had a tremendous fight but we hung on, calmed down and got to a point that day where we suddenly understood one another.

We are extremely alike and extremely different. We have the exact same sense of humor and the same voice. Our minds run on the same intense tracks. I sometimes think of her as me, turned up a notch. But sometimes I am her, turned up a notch.

We are different in many ways. I like clothes and makeup; she is more crunchy/earthy. She’s a “science and math type,” I’m literature and art. I’m tallish; she’s petite. She lives out in the country; I live in the city. But these are the surface differences. Going deeper: she does not like to examine motivation or underlying feelings. She is uncomfortable in the emotional realm, except for anger and happiness. The other emotions sometimes throw her. This was the crux of our problem for awhile; she could not stand the way I look at the dirty underside of everything and could not take anything at face value. I could not stand the way she seemed to want to gloss over everything. To me that was not really living.

Even during some of our hardest times, however, she was still a part of my life. She was my maid of honor, and I was hers. She was right there, on the opposite leg from Ned, in the delivery room, when I was giving birth to Nat. She came up with his nickname, “Miniman.” and the song, “Miniman, does what he can.” So true. She was the first one I called when I had the first diagnosis; I checked with her, because she was a medical student (such a big responsibility!). I said, “Do you think they’re right about it?” And she had the courage to say, “Yes.”

She and I had some horrible fights in our time, like the bloodsucker pinch ones of girlhood, or when I kicked her so hard she flew off my bed and into my closet. And also the time she was so mad at me she threw Nat’s rocking horse at me.

But we got to a point where we respected each other’s differences and started to glory in them. This past year, I reached some high points of happiness in my life that I had not seen in decades. She was there with me the whole time, enjoying my ride. Also this year, I plunged into some pretty ugly pits of despair (which my blog readers have witnessed), and she was there to pick me up.

We spent a week of vacation together this year at our favorite place, Cape Cod, where we went as girls and teenagers. We despaired together over the fact that only one of all the children seems to like the Cape the way we do: Nat. We cooked meals together and watched the entire Lord of the Rings together. Our youngest children, Ben and Kim, are the same age and are soulmates. Her oldest, Paul, is 10 and he worships Max and always reaches out to Nat. So in addition to the gift of her friendship is the gift of our children loving each other. Cousins! What could be better?
Well, sisters.

I’m not going to say why she is on my mind but I am going to ask all of you who are kind and care about me to say a prayer for her.


Prayers and good thoughts going out. I’ll light a candle for her tonight.

— added by Jen on Sunday, September 17, 2006 at 11:07 am

Jen –
You are a good friend to me. Thanks.

— added by Susan Senator on Sunday, September 17, 2006 at 11:49 am

Prayers and good thoughts headed out from this Jen too.

— added by JenF on Sunday, September 17, 2006 at 3:44 pm


— added by Anonymous on Sunday, September 17, 2006 at 4:17 pm

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