I do not like socks with holes in them. Who does? I am sure she put the hole in it. I’ll be damned if I am getting stuck with it! When the partner sock shows up, I will get stuck with the pair permanently. If she thinks because she is the older one that is going to happen, Miss Bossy has another thing coming! This time I am going to win the Sock War. I gave in the last time with the Stare Contest!
So, when she had the nerve to stick it in in the middle of my clothes pile, that holey sock and have it in my laundry pile, I just about lost it. I barely could hold my scream inside. I only did it so I would not get in trouble. I waited till she went downstairs to her bedroom in the basement. I slipped down the steps from upstairs and quickly opened the basement door as quietly as I could and thus began another Sock War installment. God only knows what version we were on now. I was getting tired of this shenanigans. Being the younger sister sometimes just plain sucks. I don't care if she does let me tag along with her sometimes, I want to win some in-house fights. She should let me win for my self-esteem, at least that is what my friends say. She is going to scar me for life.
I yelled downstairs, quickly, so as she wouldn't be there, at the bottom of the steps. Aha, upper hand! She taught me that, now she gets a dose of her stuff! I knew she'd be madder than hell. I screamed loudly like there was a fire in the house "Terri, this is not my sock" and pitched that holey sock proudly down the steps slamming the door behind me. Then, I ran like a bat out of hell up the set of stairs to be out of site when she ran like a track star back up after me.
Like clockwork, here she came. I got my door closed in the nick of time and heard her tread up the steps. Then in a split second it seemed she was outside my bedroom door with that damn sock, threw it to the floor as I was holding my door shut as tightly as I could so she couldn't throw it in. She said something not nice, loudly outside my door. The nerve of that bully!
Sisters are ridiculous. How can people say they love them? I could not understand, at that time, how people say they are their best friends. No one had a sister who threw holey socks at them like mine did. How dishonest to not claim she had put her toe through that sock and falsely put the blame on me. I didn’t want that damn sock.
But even I have to admit, we fit together in many ways. We are sisters, with the same mother and father. She was born first. I was born two and a half years later. My sister was named Theresa. I was named Veronica. Good Catholic names we had. Maybe they were chosen because of our father’s heritage though I was told it was for other reasons.
Our dad was Italian. His parents came from Italy and were Catholic. Our mother was a convert to Catholicism. I have always been told Italians have strong tempers and we sure did, especially towards each other. We either love or hated each other and our fighting sure brought out the worst in each other. But other times, the love bond was pretty darn strong. So maybe it is true, Italians love you or hate you, and feel that way about each other because my sister and I, back in those days felt that way about each other. I wonder if other siblings do.
Though our names were beautiful saint names,we were always called tomboy names, her Terri and me Ronni. It somehow seemed fitting, looking back. We were raised by our father, after our parents divorced and I am not sure either of us was ever really girly. I remember taking ballet classes for a time and let’s just say tutus never quite felt right on either of us. We practiced in pink leotards and tights. Getting us to practice those darn moves was real hard work. We would both rather do anything else! Speaking for myself, I had an aversion for wearing pink for years. I bet it had to do with those stupid ballet classes! I still hate tutus! I kinda think they look funny.
Our differences have always been striking for years. Terri has always been the creative one. She had the ability to sing. She entered singing competitions in middle school and I can recall her singing quite well. There were times, as kids, I would sit on the front porch of our home and she would belt out songs for me on that porch at dusk and I would sit there mesmerized by how well she sang, so envious as my voice was so flat.
She was always telling me how vivid my imagination was and how wonderfully animated I was. In time, I learned she was correct but I loved her art skills. Terri could also draw. She use to carry a sketch pad of her artwork. It showed her emotional side though I was always the one that wore her heart on her sleeve; she was the one that captured it in song and in artwork. I was the one that captured it in writings and in tears.
|Saint Theresa of Avila|
In time, I learned some more about our names. Saint Theresa of Avila was a remarkable saint who was known as a woman of reform, compassion and prayer. She faced a lot of adversity for her time and yet pushed forward in spite of it. She was supposedly very courageous and compassion and yet, quite misunderstood by many. Through all the opposition she faced, she held tight to her faith in God. One of her most famous lines is “God is enough.”
Saint Veronica is the woman that offered her veil to Jesus on his route to Calvary and upon holding it to his face, his image in blood was left on the cloth. The word “vera” is the Latin word meaning Truth or Truthful thus the veil is considered the true image of Christ. Her act of moving out of the crowd to Jesus is considered a true act of charity.
I like that thought. I think of myself as charitable and being willing to help others. Infact, I have done a lot of work with non-profits and still continue to do so. I think my parents did a good job picking the name, I grew in to it pretty well. Theresa suits my sister well too. She is very prayerful and has always been misunderstood by many, even me. I also think she is the one that has never been afraid of change, of creating changes and is independent like Staint Theresa was. There is an irony that we have traits of those Saints.My sister and I have always had a deep abiding faith in God. I find it an honor and a blessing to carry a name of someone so close to Jesus on his route to the cross. I also was touched to learn my sister has a name to match a Saint that has some parallels to her. It makes me prefer the name Veronica to Ronni and sometimes wish she went by Theresa verses Terri.
I have remained Catholic knowing this religion was so important to my grandmother. I have found my home in this faith also. It was a crucial part of her life. I have always remembered a beautiful rosary she brought back from Italy years ago on a visit, one for each of her grandchildren. Unfortunately, I lost mine and it has always been a sore topic for me, such a strong connection to my grandmother, her faith and also mine.
We sister and I fight less as we age. We find now we have more similarities than we realized. Funny how age shows you that. We find perhaps those fights might have had to do with more in common instead of less. Gone is the hate and now I don't think it was ever was really there. I think it was about life, our life, about our frustration with our parents divorcing and not understanding what was going on in our home. She was an easy target for me and me for her. When that is put aside, there is a lasting bond that has survived much change, controversy and years of trials.
A year ago, my sister went to Italy. She was certain to visit Vatican City, something she always wanted to do for a variety of reasons. We had wonderful memories of Grandma sharing pieces of her faith with us as little girls when she babysat us on visits up to her city. Upon her return, my sister visited me. She held out a box and told me she had a gift for me . I could tell it was something very special.
As I held it in my hands, I thought I saw a tear in her eye. It was one of those moments where you have a feeling what you are about to see, experience will stay with you forever but you are not quite sure why, yet. I opened the box, slowly. There lay a beautiful sparkling rosary, even more beautiful than the one I lost all those years ago from my beloved Grandmother, blessed by the Pope she brought me back from Italy to replace the one I had lost.