03 February, 2013

She Spoke Words That Would Melt In Your Hands


I tried once to do my sister justice on the internet before, and that wasn't enough, and this surely won't be enough, but I'm thankful anyway for these sporadic needs I get to want to record in time and space one of my favorite people of all time.

Sappy messages like these get repeated over and over but I suppose you'll just have to trust me when I say that I couldn't mean it any more than I do right now.

My sister is Sabrina Michelle Sandoval.  She was born the night before Tarzan the movie premiered worldwide-- I was so furious that she had been born, and I was furious with my mother for doing this to me, and after giving my immediate family the silent treatment for two nights in a row, my father decided to take me to the movie theatre right across the street so that we could both watch Tarzan.

Growing up, she and I fought a lot.  We fought all the time.  We grew up in a tiny home by the beach in Baja California, Mexico, and we wrestled almost every day.  At least that's what we called it.  We would find a reason to start a fight, and consequently I would find myself with my knee on her chest and pulling one of her pigtails while she pinched one arm and bit into the other.  (I would like to add that I was her blessed practice, my sister pinches harder than any person I have ever known and I am so proud of her.)

I found many reasons to try to be mad at her before I turned ten.  I was always angry that she had curlier ringlets than I, or that she had skinnier legs than me, or that all the teachers at our school thought she was the cute one now, and she got diplomas when her baby teeth fell out-- I think the period that peeved me off the most was this time where I was ten and she was six, and after church every Sunday, my dad would take the entire family out to eat ice cream at Thrifty's.  I would order chocolate and she would, too.  Noticing she was doing this to bother me, I would then change my mind and order strawberry, and she would, too.  For some reason, this drove me out of my silly ten-year-old mind.  I felt like I hated her and she was born for my life to be ruined (I can feel this Disney teen sitcom writing itself).  I hated this so much that every time we went to get ice cream after that, I would hang by the back of the parlor and wait until she was done ordering so that I could later order something different.  This often backfired for me because she always wanted chocolate and that was my thing, of course.

One day, I became aware of my sister's vulnerability.  I think about it now, and it probably wouldn't have been such a big deal to me now, but to my eight-year-old self, it felt like an attack on both of us.  My sister grew up knowing more Spanish than English, and she always had trouble forming sentences in English.  Sometimes, she would get made fun of because she couldn't speak English in front of her English-speaking friends, but she brushed it off.  This one day, however, I arrived home and was greeted by my sister, home early from school, because her teacher decided it would be better, considering how a group of girls had made her cry.  In that moment, I realized that my sister was a part of me, a part that I knew deep down I had to protect,  I never wanted to hear again that my sister felt inferior to someone else.

I tried my best to protect her and be there for her when she wanted me.  I still try today.  But that's not why she's my favorite person.

She has, somehow, become my protector.  She's four years younger than me, but she understands me and my feelings and we're both so in sync it makes me want to cry.

When I first starting getting panic attacks and I would get scolded on car rides to school in the morning, she'd hold my hand because I kept wringing them together.  She tries hard to make me laugh.  We feel safer with each other's company, and it's one of the greatest feelings.

Today I asked her, "If I were to ever leave home for a bit, would you want me to let you know?" and she incredulously looked at me and surely said "Yeah!" and I said "Oh" and she said "If you're going, I'm going with you."


  1. This is so sweet <3 from all the stories I've heard there's always a sort of trigger in the big sibling-little sibling relationship like that to make you realise how much you actually care.

  2. My sister and I are 4 years apart. We also fought about everything. I would read her diary,,, so I was asking for it. She would sneak my perfume - I knew exactly how I placed my bottles and if one was out place!!! Look out!
    Well, it turned out that we are the best of friends and sisters.
    Her name is Michelle. :)

    Loved your post!

  3. Lovely post!
    You have a very cute blog!

    I just started to follow you with Google Friend Connect!
    Hope you'll follow me back!


    xoxo, M.Z.


Thank you, pal.