When I first saw my baby sister,
 I stared at her in awe.
She looked so sweet and so petite,
She was like a precious doll.
Our Mother said, "It's okay, honey,
You can touch her ... Take her hand,"
So I took her tiny hand in mine
And that's how it all began.
The day she took her first few steps,
She fell so many times,
I had to grab that little hand,
And hold it tight in mine.

When big enough to go to school,
I sat with her on the bus,
I soothed her fears and dried her tears,
And told her this was fun for us.
Frequently Mom spoke to me,
 And said, "Take your sister's hand,"
But there were times, I must admit,
When it did not suit my plans.
Though usually I'd come around,
And behave as I was told,
The light within my sister's eyes,
Would shine brighter then than gold.

When she learned to read and write,
And to divide and multiply,
I taught her all her tables,
And helped her memorize.
I showed her how to roller-skate,
And picked her up when she fell down,
When I told her only babies cried,
She bit her lip and skated on.
I taught her how to ballroom dance,
And how to swing and jitterbug,
I was good ... but she was better,
I was proud and gave her hugs.

Through bad times and through good times,
I was always there to take her hand,
Just as our Mother asked of me,
Though I did not always understand.
She was embarrassed, and she giggled,
About the boys she met at school,
I held her hand then many times,
Until she learned they could be cool.
As time moved on and the years passed by,
She was in and out of love a lot,
One day, she'd be in love and high,
The next day, out of love, distraught.

Every heartbreak - every joy,
Each occasion - plain or grand,
I would reach out, with tears or cheers,
And always ... always ... take her hand.
Then finally on her wedding day,
When a whole new life for her would start,
With happiness, I squeezed her hand,
So much joy in my heart.
Then her babies came along,
And I was as proud as she,
I took their little hands in mine,
As thrilled as I could be.

Years later when her husband died,
I used the firmest grip I could,
So hard to hold her ice cold hands,
Which felt like sticks of wood.
Then we both grew old, and she grew ill,
And for one last time I took her hand,
Though not so much for Mama's sake,
But now ... 'cause I could understand...
... that when I held my sister's hand, 
Through all those years and all those times,
The truth had finally dawned on me,
She, too, was holding mine.

Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright June 2007
"The Sisters" figurine in the above photograph
was a gift to me from my sister. *Smile*

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