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following the footsteps

July 14, 2009
there were never such devoted sisters

there were never such devoted sisters

My sister, Rose, is older by nineteen months.  I was always a “me, too” second child.  Eventually, I found my own voice and formed my own opinions, which sometimes caused tension if they opposed those of my big sister.  The tension was good, as it allowed both of us to grow into our own persons.

We are very different and at the same time very similar.  People often ask us if we are twins.  We usually smile and say yes, but we were born nineteen months apart, adding that it was a very long labor.

Even as I  developed into my own person, I spent a lot of time in my sister’s shadow.  Life was comfortable there.  She would embark on a new adventure and I would “me too” my way along as her sidekick.  I would venture out from time to time and apply what I learned under Rosario’s wing.  Soon, I became quite independent, but the bond between my sister and I remained a stronghold.

On Friday evening, I found myself in a position to follow Rose’s footsteps and put into practice much of what I had observed over the last two weeks.  It was a lot harder than I thought.  I had a lot of respect for my sister before, but that respect grew immensely as I stood on the side of the road looking at my damaged car.  I struggled with anger and frustration, and I realized how hard it must have been for Rosario to forgive the woman who had hurt her.  Here I was barely able to look at the woman who had just ran a red light, hit my rear passenger side wheel well and sent my car spinning.  I wasn’t seriously hurt.  I had been jostled by the impact and knew I would be bruised and sore, but overall I was fine. 

Still, I harbored resentment toward the woman who had just inconvenienced my life, not just for an evening but for a couple of weeks depending on how long it takes for my car to be fixed.  Right before impact, I was going over my plans for the rest of the evening: I’d stop by my parents’ to say hello and then go home to have a good cry.  So much for that!  Just when I was convinced I had nothing left, God demanded more.  He challenged me to put into practice that which my sister had done.  I did not carry my cross as gracefully as she has.  All I can say is I guess I have a lot more to learn, but I am learning!

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