A Springtime Visit With My Sister

My sister was here for a week. It was a wonderful 8 days of togetherness. We joked that we walked and ate, and walked and ate more, but really the highlight as Astrid would say was just the company we kept with one another.

It was perfect spring time here in New York, and the perfect time to have a leisurely week of reconnecting in person with one of the most important people in my life. We strolled through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and marveled at nature’s spectacular show of color. I made my sister pose and take pictures and we giggled with silliness.

We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, down Canal Street, and up through the Lower East Side. When I first moved to New York my mother took me down to this part of town and recalled stories of her mother taking her out as a child on these very same streets; it was the only time in my life that my mother ever talked about her mother in a tender or loving way. I have a soft spot for this part of town which always felt like a place for generations of mother’s and daughters in my family. We went into The Pickle Guys and inhaled deeply the garlicky briny smell that always makes me think of a long line of family who came before me. We had lunch at Katz’s.

We saw friends of mine and friends of my sisters. We took naps. We talked and laughed and cried. We made our mom’s famous chocolate mousse and it tasted so much like her. We shared the void that has chasmed in each of our lives since her death. We told stories and laughed and sometimes wept with how much we miss those days that seem to exist in an alternate universe one before September 13, 2009. Bari, Matthew, Asher, and their new family addition Rory had a pre-Birthday dinner complete with candles and cake.

Our plans for this visit all started over 4 months ago when we learned that Cheryl Strayed was speaking at the Woodstock Writers Festival on my birthday; I sent a half serious who wants to join me e-mail. Well my sister wasted no time and that day said I do, had flight options a few days later, and then had taken off of work. With my friend Gina we drove up to Woodstock and spent a weekend out of the city and completely out of our minds with excitement. We walked along streams, stopped into small stores, laughed a whole lot more, ate of course. To me it seemed our mom was both everywhere that weekend and no where, as it often seems she is, just out of reach but on this weekend in a nice way. The crystals and purple and pictures of Janis Joplin reminded me of her but didn’t yell out. The time together felt more like a new relationship for my sister and I one in which only we exist. My mother and sister used to visit me every summer and after she died it seemed so hard to be with my sister like a tripod that suddenly lost one of its legs. This trip felt like the perfect balance to me of a two legged toddler just learning to stand on its own, not needing anyone else for support but our mother ever there with her arms outstretched  encouraging us on.

Oh and yes Cheryl Strayed said the most amazing things and graced us with a birthday photo.

To my nugget, my sister, I love you so much, more and more with each passing day and year. Thank you for an amazing visit.


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04 2013

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  1. Camila #

    Thanks Fillet! It was a fabulous visit!

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