December 25, 2011 at 8:15 am (Life, Memoir) (, , , , , )

This is Zuzu. My older sister (not the eldest) gave her to me one Christmas. I was in my twenties.

Zuzu is named after the youngest daughter in It’s A Wonderful Life which is a perpetual Christmas staple these days. The movie wasn’t a big smash when it was released. People found it depressing. The movie found its fame late in life, kind of like my sister and I did.

Sisters annoy, interfere, criticize.  Indulge in monumental sulks, in huffs, in snide remarks.  Borrow.  Break.  Monopolize the bathroom.  Are always underfoot.  But if catastrophe should strike, sisters are there.  Defending you against all comers.  ~Pam Brown

The sister who bought Zuzu for me is also the sister who crushed my heart, when I was thirteen, by pointing out that I couldn’t carry a tune and therefore should not joyfully go around the house singing out loud.

Once upon a time, when my sisters had children and not grandchildren, when I was an aunt, I use to go shopping with them so that I could enjoy my nieces and nephews and mom could shop in peace.

This was in the eighties. It was November and the biggest toy was the cabbage patch doll. We went to Zellers to buy one for my niece for Christmas. I mentioned I coveted their Zeddy bear knowing it was not something I would ever buy myself. On that trip, my sister bought it for me, for Christmas.

On Christmas morning, I was shocked and surprised. I had no idea what she had got me. I can still remember the joy, the value of that gift. Zuzu sits in my bedroom, always, reminding me of the kindness my sister showed me.

I just finished reading Scroogenomics, which talks of the value of Christmas gifts and all I can say, is the value of Zuzu multiplies year by year. She was the perfect Christmas present.

Sisters are different. They heard the sobbing in the darkness.
They lived through all your triumphs, all your favorites,
all your loves and losses. They have no delusions.
They lived with you too long.
And so, when you achieve some victory, friends are delighted –
but sisters hold your hands in silence and shine with happiness.
For they know the cost. – Pam Brown

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