Thursday, April 17, 2008

Toni

My sister would probably not be very happy to know I had written about her here, but she doesn't read my blog, so what she doesn't know won't hurt her (right Jen?).
Had a long chat with my sister today. She's an amazing person. She left for college about five months after I was born. As a child, I remember going to visit her family. Her oldest daughter is two years younger than me.

As I grew up, I remember my dad telling me how wonderful Toni was. I always wanted to be like her, but we often joke around that we were in opposite lines when grabbing characteristics in the pre-earth life. She's has the abilities I don't, and I have some that she doesn't. Some say we look alike, but even then, I seem to have much more of my mom's looks, and my dad's personality traits, and she has the opposite. She's the pretty one with the gentle personality. I'm a little rougher around the edges.

Our relationship really started to blossom back in 1995 or so. We started emailing each other daily. It was wonderful! Toni was raised as an only child for about eleven years, and I was raised as the second to the youngest with four brothers. Our childhoods were completely different, so you'd think we'd be completely different as well. As we shared these emails, it became quite apparent that we weren't that different at all. Our senses of humor were so much alike.

Our mother's illness seemed to solidify our sisterhood to me. Toni moved to England right about the time mom was diagnosed as her husband Tom had just taken a new job there. This left me here to take care of mom (and dad). I was very scared of this prospect. This was one of those experiences I never thought I could handle, and I believe that were it not for Toni's care and support, I wouldn't have. She would call from time to time. I would tell her the developments, and she would encourage me and back up any decisions I had made. I love her for this! I felt that at times she was my only support. I don't think anyone really knows how hard that time was. There were things I had to do that I hope I never have to do for another human being in my life, but that's all another story in and of itself; one that I don't think I could write.

A number of years ago now, after our dad had remarried and he and his new wife were serving a mission at the Nauvoo Temple, I went back to visit Toni in Indiana. She and Tom and I went to Nauvoo for a couple days to visit Dad. During this trip, a very funny thing happened that proved to me without a doubt that she was my sister. As children, Dad would often tell us a story about a man who had lived in their ward. This man had a habit of saying "but however" and would , as he said it, hold up his thumb and forefinger. As we were driving back from the Nauvoo Cemetary during the trip, Dad and Tom in the front seat, Toni and I in the back, Dad was telling Tom a story. As he spoke, he said the magic words "but however" and instantaneously, Toni and I threw out a thumb and forefinger. We had heard Dad speak of this man at completely different times, in different decades, and in different houses, but we both knew the story. We were definitely Ray Hamm's daughters.

I love it when Toni calls. She is a kindred spirit. I don't think we have many of those in our lives. We speak the same language. I'm so grateful to have a sister!

1 comments:

Carr Lot said...

Okay, LOVE this post! And you're right...she'll never know. hahaha
What a fun story to share-I know mom has mentioned to me a few times how she's been so happy to have bonded with you on various occasions. Sisters ROCK! (and frankly, so do aunts!) Love you!

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