She’s having another baby. I still can’t get over the idea that she ever had a first. She is my little sister. That’s how I will always see her. Little.
My wife sometimes has to remind me: “Your sister’s a grown woman now.”
But I remember her as a tiny thing. I remember how much she liked ice cream. I remember her full cheeks.
I remember long ago, when she tried to run away from home. We were in Georgia. I remember how sad she was. Somehow, I talked her into staying.
I remember the sound of her voice when she cried that day.
“Nobody loves me,” she moaned.
“I do,” I said.
“Well, I KNOW you do, but nobody else does.”
“I KNOW you and Mama do, but that’s all. Nobody else loves me.”
“The mailman does.”
“Oh, you bet. The mailman loves you a whole lot, he told me so himself.”
“The MAIL-man said that?”
“Hand to God. He said you were the only thing that keeps him going.”
“Oh, c’mon, now you’re just being
stupid. Tell me who else loves me.”
“Miss Randolph, a few houses down. She loves you to death.”
“Oh, don’t be stupid.”
“She brings tomatoes and watermelons from her own garden because she loves you so much. You’ll crush her if you run away.”
“Oh, you’re being silly. Keep going, who else loves me?”
“Who else? Hmmmmm. Let’s see. The Daniels boys, they’re crazy about you.”
“Those greasy pigs?”
“They’re in love with you. Aaron Daniels practically wants to marry you, he told me that just this morning.”
“EEWWWW! He did? He smells bad. Who else?”
And I talked her into staying.
I remember when she was a baby. A clammy little thing who sang songs even though she didn’t know the words. I remember when she lost her front…