She loved me.
How did I know? Because for 19 years, she had let me dress her up.
Patterns do not change. They persist and carry on. They disguise themselves as new but the core of them remains the same.
This was our pattern. Love and hate. That seesaw of devotion and dislike that bounces back and forth. Only someone who has a sibling can possibly fathom what I mean.
I dug into the depths of our old dress up box and tossed clothes for her to don. We were the same little girls just taller and wider. She excavated herself from the sparkle covered blue dress that no longer fit and grudgingly shrugged on our father's old bathrobe. On went the hat that appeared at our house several years earlier. We tromped into our parent's room and I stationed her in front of a large oil painting. I instruct her to “just look happy”. She glared at me but when I turn the camera on her there it was. That smile. No one had to know how much she disliked taking this picture, all they see was that smile.