24 March 2013

Halloween and the Queen of Ethiopia

Candace, my younger sister by three years, seemed to always have something special happening.  I wasn't a very nice older sister to her and my parents reminded me of this often.  I would like to think that Candace doesn't remember that part of our childhood but I bet she does.

It all started when she was born on the 31st of October.  It is a special day in the US for kids - Halloween.  She got to have her birthday party on that day AND also go trick-or-treating.  It must have been crazy for my mother sorting all of that out at the same time but I didn't see it like that.

Then there was the fact that Candace's name meant Queen of Ethiopia - taken from the Bible.  My name didn't mean much, really.  I was named after a family friend who I never met.  Candace has never been to Ethiopia but her name certainly seemed much more important then mine did to me.

So, I was jealous about all of that and many other things.

The family story of Candace's first day at school is another shameful episode in my life involving her.

The local elementary school had a bus that was sent to pick children up in the morning and take them home at night.  It stopped across the main road from our house - in clear view of the front yard.  My parents had talked to me a lot about Candace getting on the bus her first day of school.  I knew that they wanted me to let her go first and I was to follow.

The bus pulled up. My parents were standing in the front yard watching the  bus door open - and I ran up the stairs ahead of my sister -   the next thing I remember is coming home that evening and my parents asking me what had happened.  Why hadn't Candace got on the bus first?  Well, I told them - I ran up the stairs first to show her how it was done.  It was a lie.  I just wanted to be first and couldn't stand that the bus driver would pay a lot of attention to her.

Candace had a hearing problem.  I do not remember too much about it except that I do know she had a wonderful teacher in the first or second grade - maybe both years - who loved her.  From what I remember, this teacher was very kind and helped both Candace and my mother a lot with the problems caused by  the hearing loss.

I believe that  most people would not know about this hearing loss of my sister's.  She has never made much of it - she has just coped with it and to me that is amazing.  I remember that she had a variety of treatments when she was younger and some of them were not easy, according to my mother.  I always had the feeling that Candace just felt she would not give into the problem this might cause her.

She has mentioned, in the past, that we might share stories we remember about our pasts - I hope that she is reading this as I would like to start that.  It might help me to be a better sister.

What do you think, Candace?

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