Leaving important things behind
Veronica Collins remembers her sister's absence and presence @ This Great Society.
I was twenty-one. I was twenty-one and locked in a bathroom in the Vancouver International Airport. I was twenty-one and locked in a bathroom in the Vancouver International Airport and holding a hand-crocheted blanket to my chest and crying as if someone had died.Deborah was going away for a year. Just a year. Three hundred and sixty five days are not that much for sisters who have known each other for nineteen years and seven months. But I was locked in a bathroom stall and crying as if someone had died.She was a first-day of July baby. I was a last-day of February baby. She pulled funny faces in photos from the ripe old comedic age of two or grinned wildly as if she had a gleeful secret. I – the eldest child – tended to stand with my feet together, my hands together, the corners of my mouth turned up, my eyes trained dutifully at the center of the camera. Veronica-and-Deborah. Veronica-and-Deborah.There was a small gap. And then Rose-and-Joy. Later there would be Stephanie. Later there would be Heather. We were a crew. A gang. A formidable fortress of sisters, skinny arms-around-shoulders, against the challenges of time and change, and the tests of growing up with an overflow of ideals and faith and heart.read more