Friday, 19 October 2012

My sister

My sister
19 October 2012

I have the most amazing sister in the whole world.  And those of you who know her can vouch for this.  This is not just sisterly pride talking, this is truth.  When I was just six years old, my mom fell pregnant and saying that I was excited was a bit like saying the sun is lukewarm.  I was beside myself.  I had dearly wanted a sister for the longest time.  I already had a brother and he was sort of okay, but he liked boys toys, so he wasn’t always fun to play with.

And then as if it was the biggest present in the whole world, wrapped up for nine months in my mom’s tummy, I got my sister.  Happiness is!!!  I simply adored her and do to this day.  She was unbelievably cute and a real little sweetie.  I loved nothing more than helping my mom in any way possible.  I did nappies and bottles and helped to rub out winds.  My mom recalls me waking up for nightly feeds when I was just seven years old.  Apparently I made her bottles, changed her nappy, fed her, put her back to sleep and then I went back to sleep again.  I can’t imagine that, but it is something that I’ve been told again and again.  I’m not sure how often this happened, but as a mom myself, I’m sure my mom enjoyed the extra few hours’ sleep.  As a little girl, I remember carrying her wherever she went and playing with her for hours on end.

We have always been close.  In fact we’re a very close family.  And though we had our own bedrooms, even as teenagers, we ended up sharing the same bed at night.  Lying in bed chatting away and eventually spooning as we slept.  Probably sounds peculiar and very odd to others, but to us it was special and something we enjoyed.  And as I got married from home, it was something that I had to get used to at first.  Not sharing a bed with her anymore.

For me it feels as though a part of me lives inside of her.  A part that only gets unlocked when I’m with her.  And even over the phone, we are able to tap into this magic.  I’m guessing it’s the same for her.  When we’re together we laugh like you will never believe.  And as she presently lives in the UK and has for the past four years, most of our conversations are now done over Skype and the phone, and the laughing has still not stopped.  At the end of a chat, more often than not, my stomach hurts and I feel energized and joyful.  We get each other.  We are there for each other.  We’re each other’s sounding boards and confidantes.  She’s the ying to my yang.  Yet, for all of that, we could not be more different.  Whereas I am more introverted and quiet, she is not.  She is loud and squeals a lot.  We both have a wicked and warped sense of humour and enjoy laughing at things together.  Mostly at ourselves and at how silly we can be.  At times we revert back to being little children again, I swear.  A magical ability.  Giggling and laughing at utter nonsense.  And my mom says that seeing the two of us together and witnessing the mutual joy we share in each other’s company is a joy to behold.  And, it might be inconceivable, but the fun gets exponentially bigger when you add our brother, Albert.

There was a brief period in our teens, where we clashed as siblings do.  But these altercations were normally about clothes, believe it or not.  Something which is very near and dear to any teenage girl.  I was also really annoyed for a while when it became blatantly obvious that she was going to be stunningly gorgeous and beautiful and outshine me completely in the looks department, but so what.  It was mere teenage shallowness and I outgrew it.   However, she is drop dead gorgeous – just saying.  And let’s face it, she is absolutely beautiful – inside and out.  She is kind and gentle.  Funny and quirky.  A real scream a minute.  She is an amazing mom to her darling Honeypot as well as her three lucky bonus kids who all adore her.  She is wise, clever, bright and intelligent.  She is creative and artistic.  She has an endless capacity for empathy and understanding of others.  Basically she is just all round amazing.  And it is as if she has a magnetic field around her, drawing others to her.  Even to just to bask briefly in her presence.

We have a shared bond, born from surviving the same mad home and wacky parents, not to mention our large and crazy family.  And for the oddest reason, we have been calling each other “Foefie” for years.  And not just “Foefie” either.  Variables run from Foef, to The Foefster, Foefeltjie and the like.  And neither of us have the foggiest idea where it started or why it started.  When we phone each other, conversations simply always start with a loud squeal of “Foef!” or “Foefie!” and my children have all asked me why we do this.  Not that I’ve ever been able to give them a satisfactory answer, because there simply isn’t one.  E-mails and sms’ start off with a “Hello Foefie or Foef” and always end off with lots and lots and lots of love, from “The Foefster” or another variation of the same.   I mean how odd that we both call each other this, but then a few years ago I saw an interview with Denise Richards and she and her sister both call each other Nellie, so perhaps we’re not so odd after all.

It has been nearly three years since I’ve seen her face to face, when they last came out to SA for a holiday, and it’s really enough already.  I started saving to visit her, but a crises precipitated the need for me to part with the dosh.  I would love to start saving again, but we all know how that goes.  So, in the interim I am willing to take any donations.  Coupons, hard cash, credit cards, voyager miles, Pick ‘n Pay points, Clicks Clubcard points, hell even your Stax video card - ANYTHING.  Just to be able to visit her and see her again.  But if I don’t, I’ll be okay, because believe it or not, we have just as much fun and connect equally well when we have a phone “visit” or a skype “kuier”. 
I miss you more than anything Foefie and love you more than you can ever imagine.  You are the bestest, skinniest, cleverest, funniest, smartest, quirkiest, most amazing-est, most wonderful-est sister in the whole world.
Happy birthday!  Sadly I can't be with you so that we can celebrate together in person.  So instead I've sent my representative, Mommy.  Have fun!


The Foefster

My very own baby sister - best present ever!
Happiness is!
Best friends
Beautiful bride
As mentioned before - ever so wacky
Gorgeous gal
My birthday a few years ago - Katrine was hard at work growing Honey at the time
Having fun together


  1. Helene, you have managed to discribe the magic of sisters to a tee. I also feel that when I am with Maggie it unlocks something special that we share, we get each other and man, the laughing, thats the best!! I think it really is a priviledge to have a special sister and I am a blessed and very lucky fish! To my darling Goddaughter Katrine - its your happy birthday today!! Wishing you a very happy day, a very very happy year and a very very very happy ever after!! Love you A LOT!!

  2. TIme to come home Foefie - how can you resist after reading this? I'd be on the next plane if it was me. Helene - so well expressed. x