My sister Donna will be 80 in two days.
I will be 76 this summer.
But our relationship goes back to Fremont, NE in 1944, my first memory, of a hot sidewalk, bare feet and my sister.
I remember her kindness in 1948, or so, when she threw me a surprise birthday party, keeping me upstairs till all the guests arrived, in Coleridge NE.
She was always a step ahead of me. In Fort Collins, CO, in the fifties, she played drums; I played trombone.
“Was I Donna’s brother?” People would ask.
Yes I was.
She led the way in good grades, comportment, and beauty. I was a far second.
Admiring her from afar, celebrating her goodness, beauty and kindnesses (especially toward me).
We did get into a little trouble together when she let me drive our old ’36 Buick Victoria, (at age 15) and I drove through a stop sign on to a highway and we got hit. She quickly switched seats with me before the state police arrived. No one was hurt. No one knew this story till now.
She went off to St Luke’s in Denver for nursing school and left me to fen for myself.
When she wed Jack, I was devastated. My sister with another man. Married.
I got over it.
When I got divorced in 1971, she was concerned. When She got divorced a few years later, we understood each other.
Later after her second husband died from suicide, we were told a family secret: our father had not died from heart failure in 1950 as we had been told, but had committed suicide.
Donna was living in “the Springs” (Colorado Springs) on Tesla. Every time I made it to Colorado from where I was living in Oregon, “the Springs” had increased its radius by another mile.
As it grew, Donna grew, moving her nursing career into a business, and become a – Republican!
As a liberal Democrat myself I cringed at her bumper stickers when I was visiting. Reagan? Bush? (I haven’t seen her car this year to know if there’s a Trump b.s. on it).
Always cordial and welcoming, she welcomes me again.
I love you Donna, my sister.
– Small town boy