Ramble On

I said goodbye to two important people in my life today.

The first was my friend Ed…

Ed getting ready to marry Trent and I.

Ed moments before he married Trent and I.

Ed is really special, and he had a fitting send-off today in San Francisco. He’s brilliant — on his way to Harvard to get his master’s degree in urban planning. A true public transit geek (and I mean that as a huge compliment).

Words fail me when I try to describe Ed. But here are a few I scraped up, that do well when paired with his name:

  • Dim sum
  • Karaoke
  • Ke$ha
  • Vodka
  • Ginger ale
  • Margaret Cho
  • Foodie
  • MUNI
  • Chinky

Okay, I just love Ed. I love him so much, he married Trent and I (see that picture up there again). And now he’s gone to the cold North. I made him promise me he’d get a proper winter coat. And that he’d get America running on public transit for me.

Rough day.

However, I know some of my bestest buds — like Cindy and Julie — are gonna take good care of him while he rises to stardom in Beantown. So I gotta let him go.

The other person I said goodbye to today was already absent from my life on a daily basis. It was more me giving my blessing on her next life adventure, but it was a REALLY big deal…

My little sister, Sarah Jane, left for law school at American University in Washington, D.C. And I couldn’t attend her going-away party, because it took place 2,500 miles away, back home in Detroit.

Sarah toasting Trent and I at our wedding.

Sarah toasting Trent and I at our wedding.

Sarah will be the best kind of lawyer. She’s doing it for all the right reasons. She cares deeply about people (all people) and this country, and she wants to fight injustice everywhere she sees it. Funny thing is, she has the right combination of strength, intelligence, and undying determination to actually be successful in a quest like that.

It’s equally hard to put into words all that I’m feeling about Sarah’s departure. But of course, once again, I did anyway. I sent a speech, and had my mom read it to Sarah at her party:

“I’m not there today, as you all can tell by now. This truly saddens me, but someone told me there wasn’t going to be a party because ‘Sarah’s friends were throwing her a party’ and not to bother coming so I didn’t book a ticket and now there IS a party and I’m not there. Hmm…

So, rather than videotape myself and ask Munga to figure out an A/V setup (FAIL!), I’ve decided to keep it simple and have her read a message to Sarah from me, her older sister.

Sarah, I know I haven’t always been a perfect sister to you. I know sisters are supposed to be a lot girlier and lighthearted than we are. They’re supposed to laugh with each other and share secrets and talk about boys and go shopping and stuff like that. We aren’t that way. We were that way for a while when we were young (you probably don’t even remember those times), but then things changed.

From the time Dad died, I treated you differently. You still had a mom but you didn’t have a dad, and that’s a big deal when you’re the ages we were. I felt protective of you and I didn’t want to laugh or talk about boys: I just wanted to make sure you were okay in life. I felt like I had to be an example for you. I tried to be good at things so you would want to be good at things. I wanted to be a role model for you the way Dad had been for me. YOU motivated me to success in life (or rather, YOU made me a nerd), and now you’re about to be a bigger success (read: NERD) than I’ll ever dream of becoming.

Somewhere in the midst of all that, I became kinda serious. And I forgot to be sisterly by the true definition of the word. And I’m sorry for that.

But for all the times I failed you as a sister – I failed to hang out with you and your friends or get your jokes or be interested in your dramas or go to the bar with you or just didn’t “get it” – know that no one (maybe not even Munga!) is more proud of your achievements as a human being. You have accomplished everything I knew you could, and more. I ALWAYS believed you had a special strength, resilience, determination, and understanding of what the world truly needs. I saw this when we were both young: when we were seeing the world with fresh eyes together. It’s those qualities that always made me feel so protective of you.

But really, you never needed my protection. Because more than that, you are all the things I’m not: you are bold, funny, carefree, flexible, messy (heh)… And as such, you’ve figured out how to be the best kind of nerd.

In short, I love you, and I will always look up to you. So don’t forget to make me head of the EPA some day.”

Together, my sister and Ed are going to save the world. And I’m going to kick back and say I knew them when… [not going to insert anything embarrassing, don’t worry].

Hopefully, I’ll at least have a decent guest room in this house to offer them at some point. They deserve at least that much.

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7 thoughts on “Ramble On

  1. Margaret Wisniewski says:

    Sarah only has the courage to go out into the world and succeed because she knows that she has a sister and a family back home supporting her and wishing her the best. Her success would not be possible without that support. You were a great “dad” and a great sister to Sarah. You were a tough task master, but look at the result! You never compromise your values, and neither does she. I am so proud of both of you. You will never know the joy I feel today because I have two daughters and a great so-in-law that try to do the right thing, the right way, for the right reasons, all the time. You live your lives well.

    And you are a great friend to people like Ed. He will know that he has a “family” waiting for him back in SF, ready to laugh, cry, celebrate and support him too. Imagine the joy when Ed and your sister graduate! What a celebration that will be! And you will make that celebration, I promise.

    This was one of the best days of my life.

    Thank you!



  2. eddo says:

    Lisa and Trent – both of you have taught me so much and have been such kind and giving friends, I thank you for opening up your friends and your family and your life to me. I truly appreciate your friendship and consider it an honor to be a part of your lives. I can’t and don’t want to imagine my life without you two in it.


  3. Cindy Weflen says:

    Such a beautiful speech to your sister!

    We will totally hang out with Ed! You can give him my email address or phone number or what not.

  4. Viola Pastuszyn says:

    Nothing to say. I just sighed a little and there may or may not be a teensy tear.

  5. […] seems like just yesterday I wrote on here how excited I was about my little sister starting her graduate school odyssey at American University’s Washington College of […]

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