Dear Theresa Green
Firstly, how did this happen, when did we grow up?
Being my older sister, my very first memories are of you. Of Holly Hobby wallpaper and you sleeping in the green bunk above my bed, the one that Dad made.
I have a few things to thank you for, and others to apologise for.
I am sorry that I wasted all of your Little Blossom makeup in one go and that you got the blame for it.
And I need to thank you for carrying my school bag home up that massive hill in Geelong, considering you were ten, carrying three school bags up a huge hill was quite an effort.
Thank you for introducing me to Boy George, it was the start of my dancing career, the one that is still to really kick off.
I am sorry for singing the same song, "I am a laughing Gnome and you can't catch me, ha ha ha, he he he..." over and over while you tried to sleep.
I am sorry that I had to have the light on for so long when we shared a room when all you wanted was to sleep.
Because I thought you were so cool I pretended for a while that I too loved horses. We all know how that turned out, after two years of Saturday lessons I was still petrified of horses and riding in a double saddle so I didn't fall off. Finally when we moved and you got your own horse, I never had to ride again.
Thank you for giving me your ID even when you really didn't want to.
Thank you for not calling Mum and Dad when you caught me on top of a large wire fence trying to sneak into a Ballarat nightclub to see Boom Crash Opera play.
Sorry that I had also knicked your brand new country road pants, ripped the tags off and teamed them with a new top I liked in your wardrobe. Remember what happened? I fell off the fence and ripped those pants to shreds. And you, what did you do? You stuck within 2m of me all night making sure I didn't get in any trouble, especially when I dragged you back stage.
I still owe you for the pants. (Plus those other ones that got the battery acid spilt on them...similar story...but you know, learnt my lesson that time).
And sorry that I dropped your full bottle of Eternity perfume all over the bathroom floor and smashed the bottle, at least the bathroom smelt nice for a few days.
You managed to be there for me through all those stupid times when boys dumped me, sorry I was such a basket case. It was you who kept reminding me that only by meeting new people would I find the person right for me. You were right.
There was a time I thought it was a problem that you were not very confident. Let's face it, you are not always too confident. Back then I thought this was a weakness in you, something that I wished we could change, to make you more confident in yourself, to just hear you say something, anything that you were good at. But I was wrong, I thought confident meant brave and strong.
Because no one is as brave and strong as you.
Dropping everything, leaving your job your house, your friends and even your car and taking a chance on the other side of the country that was brave. Then going to the outback of WA to nanny for a family living god knows where, you slept outside and had to light a fire for your hot water. There was no electricity. That was strong. They were so happy to have you, and you loved those kids a lot, 15 years later, you still have contact with them.
I have done things in my life that others won't, but only because of you.
Who else drives across the Nullabor in a Mazda 121, two door car, in summer, without air conditioning, in a manual...I can only drive auto...with only 3 tapes, no radio other than Indigenous FM of some kind. The eagles eating the road kill nearly picked up the car, the road trains swept us along the road so much we had to spit out the dust for the next km. It was amazing. Best 5 days ever.
When I had to hold Popps down for blood tests and I was petrified, I texted you, saying I couldn't do it, you didn't send me nice fluffy messages saying it will be ok, you called and said, get over it, your baby needs you, grow up and deal with yourself later.
I did. But only just, cos I am not strong like you.
There was only one name I could give your house when I visited to see you and your little family before I had my own.
I arrived. I played with babies, feed them, cuddled them and soaked them up. It was bliss.
The night Lochie was born and the nurses wouldn't tell me if you were in hospital or not, I told them I would send an ambulance to your house to ensure you were ok. I was terrified of you being in labour, it scared me. They folded and told me you were there and I stressed for 9 hours til I got your call.
I had nothing to worry about. Four babies. Drug Free. Brave, Strong.
My visit to Rancho Relaxo on April 22 would change all our lives.
To be honest, there have been days and weeks I wasn't sure how we could all keep going. But at the bottom of those thoughts were, that if you could be so strong, and keep breathing, even if it was just one breath at a time, then everyone else had too to.
If you could stand at a grave site with your two year old son and two week old daughter in your arms and bury your three year old son, while worrying about how everyone else was. Then I could be strong too. I just had to learn how, from you.
We are very different, the city life is the one I have chosen and the harshness of country life is not for me. Sometimes I wonder why anyone lives out there, but last week I sat in a country pub, watched you, surrounded by country women, women of strength, value, courage and quite a bit of humour! The kind of women that cook a lasagna for a neighbour when they think its needed, and I saw what you have. You have a community that loves you and that is worth more than anything the city can ever offer, and with them, you can always be yourself, there is no need to be confident, you just have to be yourself, they already have your back. They will catch you if you ever need catching. I get it.
So now, today on your 40th birthday. Thank you for being my sister. For being someone who can be strong and brave and whip up a batch of biscuits while popping the cork on a bottle of bubbles when another women needs someone to lean on.
I am more than proud to say you are mine.
Reading:: Me Talk Pretty One Day (David Sedaris)
39 minutes ago