An Open Letter: Sisters Forever [Part One]

Thank you so much for gracing my blog with your presence! When I was a kid, my elder sister told me in not so many words to memorize the countries of the world and its flags but because I was not a diligent student, I didn’t. 😛

Today, I’m looking for at least one person from each country to greet my sister and wish her well. Here is why. ❤

Jho-sigstylediv

Earlier this year my elder sister Ate[1] Mae was advised by the doctors to undergo a thyroid surgery. Scared, my sister refused. We’d convince her and she’d say yes and then she’d say no again. Needless to say, we’ve had plenty of arguments since and right now she’s nowhere near to saying yes again.

I have no doubt I can convince her again but at the same time, I wanted her to feel relaxed, to feel as at ease as she possibly can given the circumstances and this is where I need your help.

You, yes you, the one reading this, I’d like to appeal for your compassion. If you could write a line or two to help my sister find her courage in order to face this I’d be truly grateful. To our friends and relatives reading this, if you could send Ate Mae an empathy card, an ecard, or if you could type a comment below please do. It would mean the world to me. I just want her to know that even if she’s the one going under the knife, she’s not truly alone in this, that the entire world is behind her.

Thank you for reading this post and I hope everything is going your way wherever you are in this world. If you want to get to know my sister, please read on.

Jho-sigstylediv

final

My elder sister Ate Mae and me.

I had never known the love of our parents.

Our mother died when I was only ten days old and our father shipped off leaving my sister and me under our maternal grandparents’ care, our brother under our paternal grandparents.

As a result, my eight year older sister Ate Mae tried very hard to make up for that loss. She became a mother, a father, a sister, a brother to me all rolled into one. Ate Mae always had my back. For as long as I can remember, she always took care of me. Always.

While the other kids had their moms or dads to teach them how to read, count, and tell time I had her to do that for me instead. While the other children had their moms or dads to tuck them in and tell them bedtime stories, I had our grandma, but Ate always made sure I was fine before heading to her own bed. While the other kids had their dads giving them airplanes and piggy back rides, I had Ate Mae do that for me.

Where other children her age played outside, Ate Mae stayed inside to help our ailing grandparents do the household chores and take care of her baby sister. Where the other children had their parents buy their toys for them, Ate saved money whenever possible so she could buy me a balloon, a candy, or plastic balloon, or tea party play sets, teapots, and dinnerware. And because there was never really enough money to begin with, my creative sister improvised.

Sure, she bought me paper dolls, but she made most of it. She drew images on the cardboard, cut it out, color the hair, draw its body parts, and painstakingly design its clothes. Ate Mae made sure my paper dolls had plenty of clothes for each type of occasions: gowns for parties, Sunday dresses, house clothes, pants, shorts, tank tops. Ate Mae also sewed dresses for the Barbie doll our Uncle Dieg got for me when I turned seven.

My sister’s motto was always Josephine first. When I started going to school and had needed help with anything? Did I have projects, drawings, assignments? Ate Mae did everything without me even asking. I was not a diligent student so she wrote my notes on my spotless notebooks whenever the teacher required it; I only had to inform her. I needed a lunchbox? Ate Mae prepared it for me.

She spoiled me rotten. I cannot count the things she did for me, there were so many, and she did those out of love.

My brave sister for once, is scared. Ate, you need not be. The entire world will be thinking of you and praying for you. This time we got your back. This is my promise to you.

[1] Meaning older sister.