Monday, 25 February 2013

On being lucky

I am lucky to have a brother and a sister. I also have a bonus sister. I have known Pamela literally my entire life (she's 3 months older than me).

1986. The Infamous Chalk Incident.
We grew up going to church. We wandered around the building talking to people with the same ease and confidence as if it were our own front room. We were absolutely at home there, with the senior citizens, our parents' friends, the other kids in Sunday School, the babies in the creche. It was an extension of our day-to-day lives. And we had each other. There were other families with kids the same age, but in the end they all came and went, moved houses or cities and we lost touch. But there was always the two of us.

1989. The little one is my brother Andy. Knowing us now, the cowboy/princess choices were ALL wrong
I don't remember the first time I stayed over, I'd be surprised if it was any later than 1990. My house was manic and busy but it was peaceful at Pam's. We  would watch Baywatch and her mum would make carribean chicken and we would eat pop tarts for breakfast.  Her mum and aunts and uncles and cousins and Granny Vi were as much part of my life as my parents and siblings and aunts and cousins and Granny Eileen were of hers.

She moved house when we were 8 and came into my class at primary school. It wasn't always easy, being friends at school and church, which took up most of our lives. We went to high school together too. We would argue. Sometimes LOTS. But the thing with siblings is that you always love them no matter what you argue about.

I moved away for uni at 18, Pam stayed at home. We still made sure we got lots of catching up time in. We are, in absolute fundamentals, opposites. I am small and brunette, she is tall and blonde. I like blue and green and books and arguing debating and nursing and talking loudly whereas Pam is pink and sparkly and Art (with a capital A) and photography and overwhelming, fierce love for people. She expects things to be beautiful and has no stomach for gore and guts. She is simultaneously quieter and bubblier than me. She has been a bridesmaid at least 4 times because she is the kind of friend everyone wants around them all the time. She has a horrible scar on her finger from an accident with a Franking machine aged 10, has kept odd pets like rats and chinchillas and is also super super clever. We are intricately and complexly bound up in each other's lives. Whenever life has fallen apart, she's been there, championing my side, even when I'm not quite right  wrong.

2010. Me signing the register at Pamela's wedding,

She married an American and ran off to live in Colorado. We would catch up on the phone in big, long drawn out spurts. 3 hour phone conversations about life, the universe and everything in it. She was the florist at my wedding, making some of the most beautiful, interesting bouquets and buttonholes anyone has ever seen. She made it over for the wedding, and the night before she stayed over at my house. We sat up til 3am, telling stories and drinking wine. We got ready together the next day, slowly adding other people to our  cosy morning of tea and toast. The only time I cried during the whole wedding day was when she had to leave.

2012. My wedding. Picture by Lauren McGlynn. Flowers by Pam.

She recently moved back home to her mum and family and Paisley, which I know is where her heart is. We are back to crazy time zones and catching up all the time on twitter and facebook and sometimes in big, long bursts. And today, at 4.07am after a long and complication filled day, she brought Lucy Elizabeth into all our lives. I cannot wait til May when I can get some cuddles and have a long, long chat over tea and toast.

1 comment:

  1. Oh congratulations to Pam. Lucy Elizabeth is such a beautiful name.
    And friends like this make life worth living :) You are indeed lucky !


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