A while back I was in a bar and a woman started talking to me. She was pretty and had an easy laugh and she asked me about my family. I told her a bit about my parents and then said about my sister, “she’s a more beautiful, better version of me”. At the time I think I thought it was disarming and charming, which let’s be honest, it was, but I’ve caught myself over the past year or so, always describing my sister like that to people that don’t know her. My little line that I thought was so clever, is actually just the truth. My sister and I were both blessed in our lives in many ways. I think the goodness that I could be, though, is ruined by the fact that I can get so caught up thinking about myself. My sister on the other hand, takes all these talents, wisdom, empathy, and love and shares them without really thinking about it. Her generosity is an extremely moving thing to watch in any of the relationships she has.
Where I get stuck obsessing, she readily moves forward.
And it makes me want to hide letters to her about how much I love her. Because the idea that she should open any door, window, or drawer, and find a letter that marvels and rejoices in who she is, is almost better than her actually getting a letter from me.
Some people get described as forces; forces of nature. It implies a dominance of a room or an almost unavoidable relationship with someone. My sister is a principle. As in something foundational that makes the world. Like an electron. She is a principle of someone present.
When I was a kid, my sister started leaving letters for me around the house. She would sign them “Kerry The Letter Fairy”. Fuck… I actually don’t remember how she spelled Kerry. Maybe it was with a “c”. But she did this for years (or a year?… my memory is a bit foggy), telling me all about her home in the clouds and the things she did with her day. My mom and dad helped in the charade so that I could leave letters anywhere, and they would magically disappear, with a response arriving within a few days. I truly believed in Kerry.
On planes I’d look at the clouds and wonder which one Kerry lived in. My world was full of letters. Waiting on every window sill. Waiting behind every door. Each filling me with a sense of belonging and being watched over and cared about.
And so I stumbled on this phrase about my sister, and it makes me think how much I hope she feels that around her is a world full of hidden letters all written from someone who cares deeply about her.
She is a more beautiful, better version of me.