Gary Rinsem

Suzy & Me Again

You asked for a story about my sister and here it is girls. It's sad, but one of my most important sister memories.

Sue is my only real family, but she has been gone from my life for a long time. We were very close until she moved away from home. I think it was 1969 and I was ten years old. Suzy just disappeared. She had a new life and it didn't include me. Another year or more passed before my story begins. I only saw Suzy a few times and only very briefly. We had spent no time together since she left home. My life was unimaginably lonely. It seemed as if there were no other people in the world without my big sister. On the day of this story I hadn't seen Suzy or heard anything about her in at least six months.

Our parents told all four boys to put on good clothes to go see Suzy in the hospital. I was stunned to learn she had a baby. I never heard she was pregnant. It didn't matter that all four of us were piled in the tiny back seat, I was too happy about seeing Suzy to care about comfort. From the moment I heard, I was imagining many different ways we could greet each other. All of them involved a long hug. I didn't understand that Suzy was lost forever.

I was shaking as we approached her door, ready to break it down to get to my sister. Parents stopped us in the hall to give instructions and I went into shock. My mind consumed itself with confusion when I heard they weren't allowing us into the room. With the door propped open, four brothers watched silently as our parents spent a few moments talking to our sister. It was over. We were jammed into the car for the ride home. I couldn't stop crying for hours. I didn't see her again for a year or more. The baby was big by then.

A lifetime passed in the next eight years. I'd grown up. There is big difference between ten and nineteen years old. I seldom saw my sister and only once had a moment of quality time with her. It happened one day while I was working for her at a restaurant she managed. The rush was over and Suzy was sitting at a booth doing paperwork. My job was done and I sat with her. It was a temp job, in theory I was helping her solve a short term staffing shortage. Only a couple of the employees knew we were brother and sister. A waiter approached and said that Suzy and I were a good looking couple, that we should date. I instantly felt a connection with her that was exactly what we had as kids. It's the only moment that I've had family since Suzy moved away. Oddly enough, the connection came with her response to the waiter's comment. As she wrapped her arm around me she uttered a slightly crude sexual innuendo, and smiled and kissed me on the cheek. The waiter took the inference and spread the word that the manager was sleeping with the new guy.

Sister Suzy's fun little innuendo is a special memory because it started a running joke between us. We pretended to be a couple in front of her staff. It is the only period of connection between us since she left my life. For a few days at work I had a sister again.

(Note from BB in the early 90s. We remember when you wrote this. And we remember talking to Suzy at the park. One day soon we will meet her and remind her about this story. Me and B will help you find her again.)

(Note from me in January 2004. BB died in 1995 and it kills me to find their notes in my journals. It's almost 8 years and I miss them every second of every day. I still need my big Sister, but I can't even call her without inviting mom back into my life. It wouldn't do any good anyway. I've tried to connect with her in every way imaginable on a million chances, with no luck ever. Why is everything important in life... impossible? No amount of easy young women can fill the void. I've been too damned lonely for too damned long. I love you all. Why can't I have you in my life?)