If my life were to be viewed as a tapestry, from a distance it would not be eye catching. Nonetheless, on closer inspection, one would notice the wide array of subtle but magnificent colours used. The viewer’s relationship between individual threads. They would marvel at how each thread seemed to support the other, and how an overall feeling of harmony was created. Maybe it would also be noticed how the colours of the threads would clash if they were in any other design.
So it is with my sisters. Each is beautiful in her own way; each has so many qualities which I can only admire from afar. I love each one so much, but I don’t recall saying so for quite some time. Of course relationships in our family can be nothing short of volatile, and there is a fair dose of bitchiness, but that is only to be expected in a family of nine girls. I sometimes whish that I could read my brother’s mind and glimpse what he thinks of us all. But to me he is an enigma.
I’ve got so many examples on which to model my life. First there’s Cathy, who is successful and talented, and who knows exactly how to get what she wants. Then there’s Anne, who can always find a job because she is so cool. Carmel is the sweetest, and seems to have been everywhere and done everything. Kris is on par with Anne for being the most outrageous, and I wish I had her ability to be so outgoing. Helen is the sister whose life I have observed most closely, and she would do anything for any one of us. Paula is always there to listen, while Carol can achieve anything. Jenny is my best friend, and knows exactly what I’m thinking. I guess she’s my favourite, and also the one I worry about most.
Examining each sister individually allows me to pinpoint which character trait I have inherited from each. As I am the baby of the family, my sisters have always lavished a certain amount of attention on me. But there are certain things in which I can never share. Being the youngest, I have no memories of their high school days and cannot share in their reminiscing. It is ironic that sometimes I have never felt so alone as when surrounded by those who think they know me best.
There is a certain note of expectancy in the questions people ask about what I plan to do next year. I am finding the glare of the family spotlight difficult to bear, and am afraid of not living up to expectations. I think it is the uncertainty surrounding what I am actually capable of which frightens me the most. My future is a subject that I am anxious to avoid, but this is difficult as the Core Skills Test, QTAC forms and the Formal (and after-Formal party) are looming.
My sisters have cemented our family ties, and are a source of both emotional security and non-stop advice. I know that they will always keep my family together, and I can depend on them to push me in the right direction. The sands of time seem to be flowing more quickly as I near the end of high school and embark on what I hope to be the beginning of a remarkable life. Perhaps soon the tapestry of my life will not seem so subtle, and who knows, one day it may even sparkle.
by Teresa Jackson, 1995
Rosies’ Tapestry Fund was established with the Jackson Family in loving memory of Teresa and her brother Greg. Find out more about Rosies’ Tapestry Fund .