Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I Love You, Carla!

“A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves - a special kind of double.” ~Toni Morrison

Today’s a great day. It’s the day my best friend was born. It’s a day where my clone was procreated before I was even around to see it. God made my clone, knowing that I would need a bigger sister to look up to---even though she's a tiny little thing!

When I was younger, Carla would give me sound advice on what to do. Being the age of 13 yrs old, I even came out to her, letting her know that I “thought” I might be gay, or bi-sexual. It didn’t phase her because she accepted me “as is”. She loved me anyway. I wasn’t flawed to her. She never said a word to anyone and let me confide in her about my huge crush on my best friend that I had. Carla never judged me –ever. She was the first person to know I was gay.

“A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.” ~Isadora James

Throughout my teen years, she helped me with my anxiety and panic disorder. She would come racing over to pick me up and drive me to the hospital.

“Carla! I think I’m having a heart attack!!!”
“I’ll be right over! Stay right there!”

She knew it wasn’t a heart attack. She was well aware, that what I was experiencing was just an anxiety attack. The process of taking me to the hospital calmed me down, knowing that medical care was right around the corner. As soon as I got into her car, it usually subsided. (Personal joke----"Chairs in the field!!!") She expected that. She knows, because she’s been through it. She knows what it feels like to have a panic attack. Through her experiences and her ability to endure it all, she helped me so much by knowing exactly the right things to do when I was going through it.

Carla has a gigantic heart. She would give her last dollar just to help somebody else out. She puts the people she loves before her, plus people she doesn’t even know. You can count on her for anything. She has self-respect, where she doesn’t let people walk all over her, yet she will go out of her way to make others happy. It’s just her nature. In my opinion, she’s the glue that holds our family together. She’s our source of comfort, stability and reliability. She's the source of our happiness. She's the definition of unconditional love.

First words that come into my mind when describing my sister:

Beautiful
Intelligent
Generous
Compassionate
Loving
Caring
Eloquent
Classy
Humorous
Modest
Refined
Delicate
Strong
Courageous
Lovable

The best memories I have of Carla are many. The ones that stick out in mind are the times where we spent many days at her house by the lake talking, having wine and hanging out with close friends. Everyone in her neighborhood loved her and wanted to be around her. She never judged anyone by appearance or lifestyle—she opened her arms and door to anyone who needed her. She used to help an elderly couple out who lived nearby. They simply adored her. She would go over to their house, have coffee with the lady and talk with her for hours- just to keep her company. The lady was lonely and needed a friend. Carla was always there for her. The husband was sick and incoherent at times, but Carla always made sure he was taken care of. She became a caretaker for many- without the thought of making it a career.

Carla radiates a room when she walks in. You’ll sense her presence, just by her personality- she just shines. The house feels empty when she leaves. You can feel it. People are drawn to her—not only because she’s an attractive and beautiful woman, but because she exudes positive energy. Sometimes this works in a negative way, because she draws a lot of people who drain her energy. I always chuckle when that happens. It’s a given anytime we go somewhere.

My sister’s tugged in many different directions, because many people need her in their lives. I don’t believe she realizes how special she is to so many people… I don’t think she knows how special she is to me. Yeah, she’s my sister, but it goes beyond that-----she’s my best friend. She’s the one I call when I’m upset or down. She’s the one I call when I need advice. She’s the one I call when I want to go out and have fun. She's the one I call when I need to laugh. She’s the one I would call first…for anything.

“She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink.” ~Barbara Alpert

Just last Sunday, she came over and acknowledged a tragedy that I had witnessed when I was only 16 years old. We had all experienced this incident, however I was the one that was there watching it all. This traumatized me for a long time, without anybody saying anything about it to me ever again. I had one panic attack after the other from this, yet no one could figure out what was wrong with me. Carla knew. I’m not sure she knows how important that conversation was, but to me, it meant the world.

“One's sister is part of one's essential self, an eternal presence of one's heart, soul and memory.” ~Susan Cabil

So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Carla, my best friend, my sister… You've given me such joy in my life- a reason to smile and know that I'm not alone in this world. Thanks for everything you have ever done for me. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for you.

I love you!!!