Monday, July 19, 2010


My visit with my sister is winding down to just 3 days left. We had a lot of catching up to do. Our lives are so different but the same if that makes any sense and I will try to tell you why.

First there is seven years difference in our age. I have always been an energetic out door individual. She on the other hand is an inside person who likes to sit and do crossword puzzles out of the newspaper and definitely does not like to do the New York Times puzzle. She married late in life and did not have the opportunity to have any children. I married at 19 and had three children right away. You would say I grew up with my children so I shared my children with her and her husband who was ten years older than she was. They enjoyed doing things for and with my kids. My kids loved the attention being with them because they did and show them many places they would not have seen.

One year they took the two girls to New York shopping. The style of long skirts with loose knit sweaters and boots were in and the girls came back looking like they stepped out of a Vogue Magazine. One had a complete gaucho outfit with boots and one had a long down to the ankles wool skirt with a long sleeve blouse with a long black sweater vest and wore funky shoes. The girls loved it because they knew mom and dad could not spend that kind of money for clothes that we didn’t think practical . I’m afraid we had to be a bit more frugal on our military pay.

My two sisters that are living are 7 & 8 years older but when we were younger it didn’t make a difference. At that age the sevenyears between us didn’t make much difference and it was easy to do thing together but at this stage in later life I find she runs out of steam quickly and sleeps a lot even when sitting up. Living on EST she stays up late watching movies and goes to bed late. Come ten o’clock and I am ready for bed because I still get up early because of having to keep a rigid schedule of having to eat three meals and maybe a snack daily. Taking insulin daily two times a day keeps me living without complications. I am so blessed.

sister reminded me of some family stories growing up in the restaurant. We learned to handle knives and keep them sharp and when my sister married her husband was a stay home worker when he retired from the T-Men and opened an office as an accountant. He was always keeping people out of trouble with the IRS knowing the ins and outs of how the IRS worked and what they were looking for from cheaters. So being home he took over all the household chores. My sister only had weekends when she did the planning and cooking.

One day when we were invited over for a meal and when I saw that her husband would not let her handle any knives because she might cut herself. I laughed myself silly because here is a gal that grew up handling knives in the restaurant all her life and he worried she might cut herself. He spoiled her rotten to the point that now that she is older and being by herself it is a bit difficult for her to do anything because he is not there help her and she has difficulty remembering. I have to remind her of things to do to help around the house because I can’t do it all being a bit handicapped and kidded her that she is not company. We laugh at all our shortcomings at this age. We still can get along without hurt feelings and that’s good. I love my sister.

When she was born she had weak ankles and didn’t walk until she was four years old.
I use to have picture that shows how they had to prop her up to stand. She couldn’t run out to play like the other two sisters. With being under foot all the time after hearing some of the stories I guess dad was harder on her and when she did something wrong and had to do penance by getting on her knees and bowing (which is called “Metanyas,”) to my dad as the Arabs do to Mecca and saying under her breath, “I am not an Arab.”

One day a regular customer came in the restaurant and saw her doing this he asked her, “What she was doing down on her knees scrubbing the floor?” Before she could answer my father answered the man and told him to leave her alone, “She is doing penance.” And this customer made such an issue over this that he kidded my father and didn’t give him any rest. Dad never made her do this ever again. Like I said, my father was very strict and proud and we never questioned him, others could but not us kids.

sister got to know dad very well because she and her husband looked after him and took him many places he had never been to or knew existed. For instance they took him to see the stage play “Around The World In 80 Days” and he just couldn’t believe it. They took him to many different restaurants and the one he like the best was the Hawaiian Cottage. On the way out one evening he met one well-to-do man from town who knew him and as the man said, “Hello, Tom how did you like it.” Dad said “I can recommend it to you”. Now here is a man that probably eaten there, so many time before but was kind enough to my dad by never to implying that and that he had and just said thanks Tom.

The people knew my dad never had time for such enjoyment raising six kids without the help of his wife and to enjoy the luxury of pleasurable things in life. I can see how my sister got a glimpse of the father none of us had ever seen because by this time the rest of us were married and gone. She and her husband did many things for him. I tell you all this because I want my family to know just how much she affected my growing up which was good for me.
We are playing a lot of cards, two-hand pinochle that we both enjoy. She messes up a lot by not remembering what is trump but we are having fun and I will miss her when she leaves on Wednesday. It has been a good seven weeks and I am nearing the end so until next time, I am Immigrant Daughter

1 comment:

  1. Hi there Immigrant daughter, I get what you mean when you say ýou are so different but are the same'. I have the most special friend who is like a Mother, a sister, an Aunt and a friend. We are so different but so the same and it is so precious. I bet your children loved getting all that attention from your sister and her husband. Kind regards, Anita.