Living with CP: My Sister, My Friend

In Mind, Body & Spirit, Pushing Forward by Victoria Page

One of the most profound relationships that I’ve ever had has been the one I have with my sister.

Beth and I were born five-and-a-half years apart and to many people we seem like polar opposites. She is blond and blue eyed and I am dark haired and brown-eyed. She liked her room a bit messy. I was the neat freak.

Our biggest difference according to some is that I was born disabled and she was born able –bodied. However to us, these differences didn’t matter much. My sister and I always treated each other with respect and compassion.

We fought like cats and dogs during our formative years about everything from whose CD was whose and which one of us was most annoying to the other person, as all other siblings would do.

What kept our friendship going was the fact no matter what we did or said to each other, Beth and I both knew that our bond was unshakeable.

I suppose that we formed this sisterly friendship early. From the time I was born, she always protected me from the bullies who could sometimes be mean to children with Cerebral Palsy.

She stood right up to them often yelling at them to leave me alone and to stop calling me to harass me. She always got them to stop.

Often in turn, I always looked up to her. I wanted to dress like her, have boyfriends like she did and do the things that she did because I thought and still do think that she was and is that cool!

I’m sure this had to bother her some, to have her pesky little sister always hanging around her but she never let that annoyance show to me. I was always invited to hang out with her and her friends. If someone didn’t like me for some reason they were promptly let out of her life.

“Vicky”, she said, as she bravely stood up to me one night after I quizzed her about her former boyfriend’s knowledge of my disability, “if any boyfriend doesn’t like you for who and what you are then they can walk out the door and never come back as far as I’m concerned.”

It was the same for me and my relationships. If you didn’t like my sister, you couldn’t be a friend of mine. I’ve tried my best to be there for her too, offering a sympathetic ear when she needed it or telling her the types of truths that only sisters can tell each other. I felt so honored to be her sister that day and ever day since then.

Now our lives are again on somewhat different tracks. She’s married to a wonderful man and has two awesome kids. I’m single and still waiting for Mr. Right to come along.

However we still find time to be with each other. We schedule monthly lunches, so that it can just be the two of us and we never miss it. People can usually hear us laughing from the time we order our appetizers all the way to desert!

Sometimes we reminisce about old times or we laugh and giggle about a joke or old eighties lyrics that we heard in the car and can’t get out our heads.

I love my sister very much and the best part of our connection is that she’s not only my sister but she’s also my best friend for life! This is one connection I know I’ll keep throughout all eternity.

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