She’s a woman. So help me, a woman. She has a husband, a daughter, a good job. I don’t know how she survived our sad childhood without getting hurt. God knows, it wasn’t easy.

I was the second person to hold her. Daddy said to me, “Whatever you do, don’t drop her.”

She looked like a white bullfrog. She smelled like vanilla and grass clippings. I promised I’d take care of her forever.

That was harder than it sounded. This girl grew into a kid who did reckless things.

She used to leap off round hay bales, flapping her arms, yelling, “CATCH ME!”

She liked to see how long she could hold her breath underwater. She climbed trees that were too high. She ate too much bacon.

Her first word was, “NO!” Her second word was “NONONO!” She used these words when I tried to force an oyster past her lips.

She pitched a fit.

I’d never known anyone who didn’t like oysters. They were the food of our forefathers. Our ancestors consumed oysters when they learned the War Between the States was over.

She was four when Daddy died. The morning of his death, I sobbed alone on our back porch. She crawled onto my lap.

“Don’t cry,” she said.

I did anyway.

We took care of each other. I did her laundry and taught her how to fry bacon. And when our dog had puppies, I showed her how to hold them—there’s an art to handling newborn pups.

Once, I rented a library book on French-braiding. She let me practice until her hair resembled overcooked spaghetti.

She tried out for the school play. I attended her audition. She was nervous, and the smug drama teacher told her she had no talent.

I’m a quiet man, but I wasn’t that day. I called the teacher a greasy communist who didn’t love the Lord.

Throughout her high-school years, she worked different jobs. Once, she worked in an ice-cream shop. Each day, I’d clock out of my job and visit her.

When the store was slow, she gave me ice cream for free—with Heath Bar crumbles. I gained eight pounds during that time.

I saw her last night. It was a party. People wore nice clothes. She wore a dress straight from a magazine. Not many women compete with her.

She is long, strong, and big-eyed. She inherited my ancestor’s looks. I inherited an affection for oysters.

I stood, watching her.

She saw me across the room. We hugged. She gives good hugs. Always has.

She’s a woman. So help me, a woman. She has a husband, a daughter, a good job. I don’t know how she survived our sad childhood without getting hurt. God knows, it wasn’t easy.

But seeing her in cocktail attire, I felt something I don’t often feel. It’s the same feeling I’ll bet Daddy felt when he handed her to me.

Some might call it pride. Maybe that’s what it is. Whatever you call it, it feels so good it throbs in my throat and makes my smile hurt.

You’d be proud of me, Daddy.

I didn’t drop her.

39 comments

  1. Alfred Adan - May 22, 2018 6:34 am

    Well done, Sean. Well done.

    Reply
  2. Pat - May 22, 2018 10:03 am

    You writings are amazing and you make me want to look at situations different than I ever have before! Thank you for that.

    Reply
    • Pat - May 22, 2018 10:06 am

      Your writings not you writings are amazing.

      Reply
  3. Judy - May 22, 2018 10:33 am

    She is one blessed lady. She is well loved. Good job, Sean.

    Reply
  4. Frank - May 22, 2018 10:52 am

    I wish I could find that guy in yesterday’s post who wrote you saying that he was a ”real” writer with a masters degree in English and that your work “sucked.” I’d show him what you posted today about your sister. If after reading that, he couldn’t admit that he was oh so wrong, then I can only conclude that he and your ancester’s oysters are intellectual equals.

    That sister of yours is a lucky woman. I hope that she knows what she has and that she tells you she knows.

    Reply
  5. LeAnne Martin - May 22, 2018 11:13 am

    Sean, this is a gorgeous piece of writing. You made me tear up, but that’s not unusual. Thank you for having the courage to send your writing out into the world. You are making it a better place for all of us.

    Reply
  6. Cathi - May 22, 2018 12:14 pm

    Sean, love for our siblings is a gift, isn’t it? No matter how different we may be, that love reveals itself every single time. I know your Daddy is very proud and I am too. ❤

    Reply
  7. Melanie - May 22, 2018 12:23 pm

    I’d call it love ❤️So beautiful.

    Reply
  8. Michael Guilday - May 22, 2018 12:27 pm

    I just married my daughter off. I know those feelings. Oh how I know those feelings.

    Reply
  9. Laura Hogelin - May 22, 2018 12:34 pm

    I’m a new subscriber…I am either laughing or crying once a day now. Thank you…just thank you for sharing your stories! This one was beautiful.

    Reply
  10. Lydia - May 22, 2018 12:46 pm

    I just LOVE this one! Sean,you always brighten my day.Thank you

    Reply
  11. Connie Havard Ryland - May 22, 2018 12:52 pm

    The bond between a brother and sister should be unbreakable. It warms my heart to know you have that. You brightened my day.

    Reply
  12. Lisa Perkins - May 22, 2018 1:02 pm

    ❤️❤️ What a wonderful brother and what a blessing you’ve been to each other. ❤️❤️

    Reply
  13. Edna B. - May 22, 2018 1:14 pm

    Such a beautiful story. Reminds me of my brother. You have a super day my friend, hugs, Edna B.

    Reply
  14. Jack - May 22, 2018 1:21 pm

    Little sisters do that!

    Reply
  15. Johnny Wheeler - May 22, 2018 1:39 pm

    Sean, Sean of the South! Sweet tater pie and shet my mouth! 😁👍🇺🇸

    Reply
  16. Keloth Anne Thompson - May 22, 2018 1:43 pm

    What a special story—-filled with treasured memories and so much love! Thank you for always sharing your amazing writings❤️❤️ So many memories are aroused in my soul😊💕

    Reply
  17. Carol Rothwell - May 22, 2018 1:55 pm

    Could there be anyone that couldn’t be proud of you ?
    Just point them out to me & i have a few words for them..
    I have a brother like you Sean..but right now..bad thinks happen to good people and i can’t bring him home for a while yet.
    But I’ve got God working on it & I’m trying to not drop this one..
    He gives good hugs. Too & right now i could use a great big all you got kind of one!!
    Love ya!

    Reply
  18. Jack Darnell - May 22, 2018 1:56 pm

    You done well, but you have it backwards. She never dropped me. She taught me to ride a bicycle, play hop-scotch and Hide and seek. Now she has dementia I am trying not to drop her! This helps. Thanks!!!

    Reply
  19. Heidi - May 22, 2018 2:45 pm

    Your writing fills us up and after reading the comments I hope they fill you up too. You’re a special man.

    Reply
  20. Phillip Saunders - May 22, 2018 2:49 pm

    Very special one, Sean. They are all good, but ones like this stand out. Unlike the reader who just basically called you unprofessional, I think you are very professional in your own special, down home way. If one doesn’t “connect” with a particular story, he/she should just accept it and move on. Keep up the good work.
    P.S. to Jack Darnell: I have said a prayer for your sister and you.
    Phillip

    Reply
  21. H. Shelton Armour - May 22, 2018 3:05 pm

    Thank God for good hands. She didn’t drop herself, either. That’s a big, “Thanks be to God”.

    Reply
  22. Mary Lee - May 22, 2018 3:15 pm

    Oh that is beautiful..very beautiful.

    Reply
  23. Carl, another pilgrim - May 22, 2018 3:46 pm

    I’m 9 years older than my sister. My father worked late, and my mother was attending night school in sister’s early years. I was the boy/man on the scene.
    After 57 years she’s still special.
    Thank you.
    ICH

    Reply
  24. Beverly Wynn Bua - May 22, 2018 3:54 pm

    Beautifully written…. I miss my brother😪…❤️

    Reply
  25. Jack Quanstrum - May 22, 2018 3:57 pm

    Great Read! Good job with your sister. Happy for you both!

    Reply
  26. sam smith - May 22, 2018 7:44 pm

    Sean, you aced it yet again.
    Thanks for continuing to share your world, and make ours brighter. (After the tears your words often bring, that is.)

    Reply
  27. BTS - May 22, 2018 10:21 pm

    Beautiful
    Big brothers are a special blessing!

    Reply
  28. Patricia Gibson - May 22, 2018 10:56 pm

    I love you! You make my day!

    Reply
  29. Lisbeth Garecht - May 23, 2018 1:33 am

    You did good. You both did real good.

    Reply
    • Ben Saye - May 23, 2018 2:10 am

      Shawn, Take it from your dad’s best friend he would be very proud of you!

      Reply
  30. Gay - May 23, 2018 1:40 am

    A real tear jerker…..thanks Sean!

    Reply
  31. Martha Anne - May 23, 2018 2:31 am

    No, you didn’t. It’s because of God’s grace in giving her you that she overcame her childhood hurts. And it’s God’s grace that’s enabling you to overcome your childhood hurts, too. ❤️

    Reply
  32. Ann Foley - May 23, 2018 1:33 pm

    I enjoy your ‘sister’ stories. You should write more about her.

    Reply
  33. Janet Mary Lee - May 23, 2018 2:40 pm

    I echo Ann in her comment above! And how gracious they are to share themselves with us. You done it again!!

    Reply
  34. Camille Atkins - May 23, 2018 2:55 pm

    And that ignoramus DIDN’T-GET-YOUR-WRITING??

    Reply
  35. Jim - May 23, 2018 4:52 pm

    Sean, I was born an only child. Strangely, I befriended classmates from large families. None were ‘only’ like me. They taught me love, consideration, honesty, faith, sacrifice, and understanding. The attitudes my parents grew up sharing with their siblings. My parents worked outside our home in the family business, so being alone, my instincts led me to friendships with those most like my parents. Your story is filled with all the best things life offers if you live it well, as God intended us to share. Nothing is better than the love of family, especially between siblings with fine parents as examples. If love is in the home, God lives there.

    Reply
  36. Linda Chipman - May 23, 2018 5:52 pm

    This one is one of the best you’ve ever written. I have a brother who is younger and I know there is no love like the love between siblings.

    Reply
  37. Deborah - May 24, 2018 2:06 am

    You are awesome and you made me cry. I can relate to everything you write.

    Reply

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