Virtual sister time

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Months ago, I had envisioned writing this column about Parkinson’s Awareness Month, which is in April.

My dad has Parkinson’s disease, so it is a topic that I am very much invested in. Not just in April, but every day of the year.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic began to dominate headlines worldwide.

And because people are needing to consume and absorb necessary information and news about this new COVID-19 virus, I decided to pen a column that is bit more lighthearted. And will hopefully bring some smiles to your faces — National Siblings Day.

National Siblings Day is an unofficial holiday observed each year on April 10 as a time to honor and value the bonds we have with our siblings.

My sister Julie and I are as close as two siblings can be. We look a lot alike, so much so that when we were young children, people would mistake us for twins — even when we were dressed in our Dr. Seuss t-shirts that explicitly labeled us as Thing One and Thing Two.

But we have one year and three months age difference between us. I am Thing One, the older sister.

Julie and I weren’t necessarily troublesome children. But usually when we got in trouble, we both got punished. That’s because 99% of the time, it was something we got into together. Like the time when we were about 7 or 8 years old and we used some sort of red coloring — I can’t remember the substance — to draw stick figures all over the bathroom wall. I don’t know if that bright idea came from me, or if it was my sister’s, but I remember getting sent to our room for a few hours to sit and think about what we had done.

But probably to my parents’ dismay, the only way to really punish us for something was to separate us. Otherwise, we’d just go into our shared room and play with our toys, albeit very quietly so not to get in even more trouble.

As adults, we still spend a lot of time together. However, our activities together now largely revolve around the newest set of siblings in the family: Julie’s two daughters, Morgan, 16, and Cassie, 13.

This year, we may not be able to go out and do something like we normally would to celebrate National Siblings Day. But at least technology will allow us to have some virtual sister time this April 10.

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