Blog, Family, Memoir, Summer, Writers, Writing

You Were There with Me, Sister

… I hear you laugh, my heart fills full up ♫♪♪♫♪

Victoria Park

Sisters share the scent and smells the feel of a common childhood.
— Pam Brown

Our Family Tree:

Our Family Tree
The top couples raised the next two, who got together & raised us; get it?

So, my sister is about to celebrate a milestone birthday this week, and I wish that I could be there to celebrate her big day! Alas, we are many miles apart, and that won’t be possible.

I will be thinking of her though and raising my glass in a cheer, toasting her!

Which got me thinking about the fact that she’s my sister; she’s my only sister. We were the only two children for our parents, and the only two grandchildren, while we were growing up, on our dad’s side.

We have so many memories, we are tied together forever. I tried to find some photos to bring some of those images, feelings and remembrances back to life. Here are a few of those that I came up with…


We survived the Seventies and the Eighties together. That’s kind of a big thing, they were very distinctive decades and so many by-gone things from those years remind me of my little sister:


From television shows to toys, and also food and drinks, it all reminds me of growing up with her. The clothing, of course, and the hair! It was often permed, or teased. We used real lemon juice and Sun-In in the summer time. We had some really, really bad hair-dos. Well, I did at least…

Sissies 005 80s R&J

It will probably not surprise anyone to hear that she was the only other kid at all our Christmases, too, will it?

Christmas presents 017

Somewhere there’s supposedly video evidence of these occasions, too. *wink wink

Let’s see, more fun family vacations, Griswold-style, than I can count; Santa’s Village and Mount Washington in New Hampshire, Old Orchard Beach in Maine, Boston, Walt Disney World and Busch Gardens in Florida. We made trips to visit family in Ontario, Quebec, Maine and Florida.

Mt Washington w Mom006Tenants Harbor ME

And we still do that, just last year we all met in Arizona for Christmas. It was a great time. We rented a vacation home and had adventures in the Tempe and Phoenix area.

Phoenix Zoo

Although I started going to school alone, and she finished up alone, we also shared a lot of first and last days over the years. We rode the bus together when we were in the same school, too.

us dressesRaina Jena First Day 1987 001

We shared a few teachers, too, but that mostly meant that she had a teacher that I had already had (…I don’t remember that ever being an issue, but I hope not).

I found this photo from my son’s high school graduation and I had to laugh. He’s holding two of the cards he received; identical cards, one bought by me and the other by his aunt, my sister:

Same card

It’s particularly funny because of all the times that we’ve bought the same card or gift for the same person. Among them the exact same tea towels for our mother, one bought at a Target in Virginia, the other a Target in Colorado. What are the odds?

There have been others over the years as well. It’s a sibling-thing, no doubt.

Seafoan helper

My sister has helped me out of jams, stood up for me and always, always remembers my birthday. She’s always just a phone call or text away. We have laughed until we’ve cried again and again over the years.

When I got married my sister was my Maid-of-Honor, and I was her Matron-of-Honor several years later.

7 - Copy

Here’s a sampling of mail I’ve saved:

my sis stuff

That flower card is dated 1993! I have many more cards, post cards and encouraging notes, too.

We say the same things all the time. Just last summer at our mom’s side Family Reunion our dad’s cell phone rang during a most inopportune moment. At that instant I turned and whispered with a grin, “Oh no, he’s that guy!”

Turns out about ten feet away she’d turned, shaking her head and whispered, “Dad’s that guy.”

Don’t get me wrong, we’re really diverse, but we are definitely, beyond a doubt sibs, and how reassuring that we always will be.

Beach Summers

Many of our summer breaks were spent at our grandparent’s home at the beach. They were great times. We also went there overnight every Christmas day of our childhoods, and most Mother’s Days were spent there for lobster dinners.

Dad & us 4Mother's Day Lobster

On the beach Wall

Many hours were spent reading books, playing with our Barbie Dolls, watching television, and just being little kids. We used our imagination to turn our grandfather’s rowing machine into our car or row boat; down in the basement, which, of course was our apartment or workplace.

So many good moments.

I didn’t set out intending for this to turn into such a picture album of a post, but it’s when I look at these photos that the memories become so vivid. Maybe it will do the same for my little sister.

Under HatsFlower bedPopsiclesme plaid

Maybe it will possibly inspire others to organize those childhood pics and memorabilia.

There’s a funny quote from Charles M Shultz that goes —

Big sisters are the crab grass in the lawn of life.

I’m sure it was true more than once when we were kids, and maybe even a few times since we’ve grown up, but I hope overall that my sister doesn’t  think of me in that way. 🙂


It was nice growing up with someone like you — someone to lean on, someone to count on… someone to tell on!
—Author Unknown

my sisters birthday

I love her! x

Raina K Morton   February 24 2015         

*Today’s title is from the song “Sister” by David J Matthews, 2006.

2 thoughts on “You Were There with Me, Sister”

  1. Happy Birthday to Jena! That was a lovely tour of some of your times together, Raina, and there were many over the years. You two always had each other whenever the family went anywhere, and that was great – no hanging about alone wondering what to do. Loved the old photographs – we took lots of photos and now we get such a kick out of them. It makes my heart happy that you are sisters and friends and I look forward to you two enjoying many more fun and heartfelt times. Thanks for sharing…. xo

    Liked by 1 person

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