I grew up the youngest of 5 children. I was the baby and often treated like a baby. I wanted to baby someone. Have someone to play with and have tea parties with. When momma said ” who did this?” I wanted someone else there to take the blame lol..lol.. All of my childhood friends had younger siblings. I never told anyone, but I was down low envious of them. I always wanted to be someone’s big sister, be that someone to be looked up too, and with whom I could teach and share life’s experiences with. OK, lets be honest.. I wanted someone to boss around and split kitchen duty with **insert evil grin**…
My niece, Tamecca and I are 15 months apart. We lived in the same home, went to school together, and shared some of the same friends (she was friends with my friend’s younger siblings). Growing up, we DID NOT GET ALONG . I’m not sure if it was sibling rivalry or just us being stubborn, but I don’t recall too many “fun” times growing up with my niece. I could not boss her around, and she damn sure wasn’t going to help me with my chores. We argued A LOT, it wasn’t fun to always be on edge and for some reason we were never in a good place with each other. ** insert hand on hip and side eye** BUT anyone that knew us KNEW if you mess with one it was going to be hell to pay!
Fast forward to adulthood. We have a GREAT relationship. We’ve made so many phone calls to each other to share good news, bad news, and just news. I will never forget the call I made to my niece on July 15, 2011, the dreadful phone call I wish I could take back. I called my niece to tell her I have Lupus. ** insert dead silence** because it was dead air for about 45 seconds…She tried to be brave and tell me it’s OK, but I could hear the hurt, and fear in her voice as she struggled to find the words to comfort me. My niece was the 2nd person (to my husband) I told I have Lupus. I would call her before taking any meds or to get advice relative to my treatment plan. I would call (and yell) when I was frustrated, in pain, and being a big a$$ baby. She never allowed me to feel sorry for myself or willow in pity. Her famous line “ you know grandma (my mother) didn’t play that, she worked hard so we could have, she beat cancer, you can’t give up, the doctors don’t always know what they are doing!” ..lol..lol..The calls I would normally make to my mother (who is a retired RN, who is battling Alzheimer’s) I was now making to my niece! Had she become the little sister I always wanted. The late night call I received from her after she read my blog-her yelling telling me I just took her on an emotional roller coaster crying and laughing at the same time-How could I do that to her!! lol..lol..
In times of financial strain I’ve never had to ask to borrow money, she always volunteers to give, even if it meant borrowing from someone else to give to me. We have so many things in common in our adult life-growing up- it was Toni & Tamecca (us), both of our 2nd children are girls my daughter A’Yianah & her daughter Anya ( get it.. both names start with an A, and both of our 2nd children are girls, AND they are 16 months apart in age). We both became grandmothers for the first time together (2 days apart). I remember being really mad (I think I was 12 or 13 yrs old) at her because I wanted her to call me “Aunt Toni” lol..lol.. and I was really MAD that she refused! Lol…lol… Now, she often calls me on the phone and say “hey Te Ta” in her cheery “what cha doing voice”.
I still remember the day she announced that she successfully earned her RN nursing degree-the pride I felt was unbelievable. I was shouting “SHE DID THAT” YOU BETTER WERK!!!!! ..I was calling everyone (including people who didn’t know her to BRAG about what my niece had accomplished). Finally tears of joy!!! Something to celebrate J
The late night-early morning conversations about life, family, kids, fears, joys, lows, highs, with no judgment-are PRICELESS !!!!! We cry together, we laugh together, we pray together. I love my niece sister. I’m proud of the relationship we have now, I have my sister, my niece, my best friend, my ride or die, all rolled up into one!
Love you niecy-sissy poo 🙂