Karen is my only sister. We have five brothers. So you'd think we'd be "bosom buds" from the beginning. Nope!!! When Karen was born, she was the 4th child born to my parents in less than four years! I was the oldest -- getting to be the "only" child for 11 months and one week. Mom called Tom and me "Irish twins" which was apparently a term applied to two siblings born with less than a year between them. Then came Tim. And then -- Karen.
I'm sure I was thrilled with the "idea" of having a sister, but the "reality" was something different. One of my earliest memories with Karen (one she's heard about numerous times) was when Mom asked me to take Karen out to play with the neighborhood kids. Are you kidding me? I was about five, a tomboy, and there was no way I wanted to take this kid with me and have her cramp my style. I literally, and guiltily, recall dragging that sweet little girl down the street angry that this little toddler couldn't keep up. What's worse is, if I recall correctly, Karen was so happy just to be outside.
For the first years of our lives, not only did we share a bedroom, but we shared a bed. We got pretty good at setting up little barriers defining "my side" of the bed. As we grew older and had cleaning responsibilities, we each had SEPARATE tasks. That was critical. I was a bit of a neat freak (I know, it's hard to believe now), and thought Karen was a slob. We used to get into these arguments and slap each other.
I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful sister. Unfortunately, since our young adulthood, we have been separated by many miles. I found myself smiling as I typed the above description, realizing how things have changed over the years.
Karen is one of the "Big Kids" -- the four of us that were born in the first four years. The memories we have of our childhood differ so much from those of the "Little Kids". As adults we've been able to laugh about how "Dad liked you better" but "Mom liked you better." We are grateful to have at least one other female among the "Jones Boys." Neither of us loves to clean our house.
|Kath, Tim, Tom, Ted and Karen|
There is a lot I could have written about Karen, but I think I'll wait until next year to write about our "older" selves. Just know, Karen, that I'm so glad that you are my sister.
I love the picture below of you, Terry, and Peggy. I'm guessing you were about seven, since you are missing your front teeth.