I often wonder what was running in my sister’s mind in the picture above. In it, my mother is seeing looking at me gloriously while I seem to be sending back a curious stare. On the other hand, my sister’s pose expresses something unique: a confused disbelieve. The confusion could have been because of so many things (or a bunch of questions, perhaps). Why doesn’t mom have a big belly anymore? And who is this new creature? Is he the one to steal my mom’s undivided attention?
I am not sure when/how my sister got the answers to the questions above (if she ever had them, anyway). Nevertheless, one thing remains unerring since the first time she set her eyes on me. That the new creature she was staring at became her younger brother, forever. The forever-and-ever-we-will-be-together impetus is what forms my relationship with my sister. She has been the one to come to my rescue for most of my childhood. She is the one that pulls me up from sinking into the sea of mad romantic relationships my poor soul tried to sail through during my adolescence period.
Her tough, fearless character is a shield to my fragile, sometimes-too-caring heart. Her strong hands (touched by God’s loving presence) protected me whenever I was in trouble. It is her strong hands that I firmly grasped when we were going to and from school when we were in elementary school.
I did not have a brother like other folks at school, for sure. A brother that would have shown up for me whenever I got bullied. Instead, I had an iron lady. A valorous sister who confronted a class monitress that scourged me multiple times. The one and only sister who showed up to threaten upper-class boys whom I clashed with — either in soccer games or cleaning sessions at school. “I do know your brother,” I answered once. “But… do you know my sister?” I confidently asked numerous times.
Later today, my family is sending my guardian angel off. And on Saturday, she will become one with the lover of her life. It pains me that I will not be physically there for her like she has always been there for me whenever I needed her. It pains me even more that I, in a fine tuxedo, will not be able to stretch my hand and take her to the altar to represent our deceased father. Thus, allowing another union of a passionate grasp of our hands. Only now that mine is relatively bigger than hers — unlike how it used to be.
To my sister: I wish you all the best in the journey you are about to start. How lucky is the man that is about to marry you! He who will get to say: Do you know my wife — my iron lady?