A rug of many colors

My younger sister and I shared a room for several years. For the most part it was a test of endurance, as we were six years apart in age and light-years in temperament. She was relaxed and easy while I was uptight, anxious, and a light sleeper.

Her aggression was only released while unconscious. Did I mention that we also shared a double bed for a time? I came to dread the twilight hours, because I knew inevitable torture was approaching. My sweet, precious sister became a human pin wheel. Getting kicked in the face was the final straw. Since the house we lived in was perpetually under construction, I easily located a two-by-four about four feet long. I carefully wrapped it in a blanket and placed it down the center of the bed. Now we each had about a foot-and-a-half of space to the edge. The board lasted one night. I threw it out in disgust the next day. I had unwittingly armed my sister with a weapon.

We finally got our own beds before I could sustain permanent injuries. My side of the room, perfectly in order. Her side, a strange assortment of cardboard containers with unintelligible combinations of  toy treasures. Yes, I drew a line down the middle of the room, lest my side be somehow contaminated by disorder.

We only had particle board for our floors until Dad found a piece of carpet in a dumpster. Now I had a rug on my side of the room! I looked at my sister’s side and a pang went through my heart. All she had was stained, ugly, particle board with that still visible chalk line.

I really did love my sister. What could I do for her? I wracked my brain until I remembered Dolly Parton’s song, “A Coat of Many Colors”. That’s it! I had seen a pile of discarded carpet samples around somewhere, about 12″ x 12″….. I would make her a “rug of many colors” and I knew it would be beautiful. I labored to finish before she came upstairs.

Well, I was so excited to show her when I finished. I can’t remember her exact reaction, and for some reason a few days later it disappeared. Then it seems life hit fast forward: I became a self-absorbed teenager and left that house one day forever.

But I still love you, sis.


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