Baby Sister

I remember early mornings when my mother and I threw the daily newspaper. I remember my sister, sitting in the backseat. I remember the jokes we told each other to keep smiling. And how her laughter sometimes turned into crying for no reason.

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.”

“Mama does.”

“I KNOW you and Mama do, but that’s all. Nobody else loves me.”

“The mailman does.”

“The mailman?”

“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 teeth and couldn’t pronounce “Sister Susie sells seashells by the seashore” without lisping.

I remember a lot of things. I remember the day she held my hand when we scattered Daddy’s ashes on a mountain. The way we watched them fall.

And the way she asked simple questions for which there were no answers.

“Where’s Daddy right now?”Or: “Are you gonna ever leave me?”

I remember early mornings when my mother and I threw the daily newspaper. I remember my sister, sitting in the backseat. I remember the jokes we told each other to keep smiling. And how her laughter sometimes turned into crying for no reason.

I remember her first car wreck. I remember her church youth trips. I remember playing in the Gulf, tossing her against large waves.

I remember her courthouse wedding, when the man holding the Bible asked me: “Who gives this woman away?”

I remember when I found out she had given birth to a daughter. I was at a Willie Nelson concert when it happened. My phone lit up with a text:

“YOUR SISTER IS A MOM!” it read.

Willie was signing “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground.” And I remember that.

Anyway, tonight we stood in a living room with family around us. It was a fun night, complete with spaghetti on paper plates, children running everywhere, and dogs knocking over beer cans.

Then, my sister called for everyone’s attention.

She held an envelope in the air and explained that inside was the gender of their new baby. The room got so quiet you could hear the air conditioner.

She opened the envelope. She looked at the ultrasound photo. She bit her lip. Her eyes got wet. So did mine.

“It’s GIRL!” she announced.

We applauded. I hugged my baby sister. She is tall, and slender, but she is no woman. To me, she is a girl who likes living-room tents, ice cream, and puppies.

I haven’t always been the best brother, I’m too human to be best at anything. But I do remember things. I remember too many things. And I will always remember a little girl who said, “Who else loves me? Tell me, who loves me.”

I’ll tell you who, Sarah.

I do.


  1. Karen Greatrix - August 14, 2018 6:46 am

    Congratulations Uncle, that is wonderful news. I hope you have fun spoiling the new baby too.

  2. Susan Self - August 14, 2018 7:48 am

    Yes Brother you do. I miss my sister so much. And still do Nette, love you.

  3. Marilyn - August 14, 2018 11:15 am

    Congratulations! Few things in life are better than a brother that always “has your back!” God blessed me with three of them who have always been there to cheer me on or pick up the pieces. ??

  4. Barbara Pope - August 14, 2018 11:35 am

    Powerful, I think maybe Sarah saved you.

  5. Joy - August 14, 2018 12:17 pm

    Memories! I am so glad you have good memories of your ‘little’ sister! Blessings are a precious treasure…and sometimes, memories can haunt us…but God always blesses us and helps us through the good times and the bad. The God of the mountains is also the God of the valleys, in good times or bad. Love you Sean!

    Thank you for your writings Sean! I look forward to reading them every day.

  6. Jo Ann - August 14, 2018 12:25 pm

    Congratulations, Sarah, & all the family.

    • Carol - August 14, 2018 1:22 pm

      I sent one and they don’t go every time!
      I love ya and your sister too!
      Cause I have a brother that I want to see very very bad!
      Congratulations to your sister and your family!
      Love ya!

  7. Emily M. - August 14, 2018 12:57 pm

    “I’m too human to be the best at anything” – love this. Congratulations to your family and please never stop writing! It’s a wonderful start to my day!

  8. Jerry Chancey - August 14, 2018 1:10 pm

    This is how remember my sister Lisa Hodge although she a very successful lady she is my baby sister. I love her so very much. She just special.

  9. Sandi in FL. - August 14, 2018 2:10 pm

    Sisterhood is a very powerful bond. My sister is the best!

  10. Susan Swiderski - August 14, 2018 2:25 pm

    Every gal should have a brother like you. You’re a rock.

    Congratulations to your whole family for the baby girl about to brighten your lives.

  11. Linda Akers - August 14, 2018 2:27 pm

    The love you have for your sister is so very special.

  12. Edna B. - August 14, 2018 3:35 pm

    What a wonderful story, Sean. It makes me miss my brother even more. Enjoy that new baby niece when she arrives. Babies are so precious. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  13. Shelton Armour - August 14, 2018 4:26 pm

    Very touching…remembering events and times is an important thing. Congrats on becoming an uncle again!

  14. Sandy - August 14, 2018 5:36 pm

    I. Love. This. I’m a baby sister to my big brother. Thank you for the reminders of the bond between siblings…

  15. Bill T in Florida - August 14, 2018 10:21 pm

    Didn’t have a sister. Three younger brothers and lots of girl first cousins. I have one daughter and all my kids and grand kids are boys.

  16. Jack Darnell - August 15, 2018 3:09 am

    I just spread my last sister’s ashes last week. She was my friend. Imma miss her. I like this entry.

  17. Melodie - August 15, 2018 5:10 pm

    I could do no wrong in my big brother’s eyes, and my sister was my very best friend. They were both taken way too soon, but God was in need of more Angels. I love them and miss them so much. I know you will continue to cherish your sister and those babies. Sibling love is the best.

  18. Janet Mary Lee - August 15, 2018 9:17 pm

    I have no brothers or sisters and cannot imagine what it is like !! But I know how special you both are to each other!! Congratulations to you all on this newest addition !!


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