In late May of this year, a few weeks shy of her fiftieth birthday, my youngest sister, Tiffany, committed suicide. Six months before our sister killed herself, I made plans for us all to gather at a beach house on Emerald Isle, off the coast of North Carolina. Each of us had pulled away from the family at some point in our lives. We’d had to in order to forge our own identities. Tiffany, though, stayed away.
I love this David Sedaris story SO much because it captures the incredibly strange and satisfying thing about having a big family. When you have five older siblings you roll your eyes a lot. You spend a lot of your childhood running away from the dinner table angry then sit on the stairs listening to what everyone is saying about you. You say, “I’m adopted” while looking at the same exact nose, runaway, then circle the cul-de-sac and come back. As an adult, you say you are different kinds of people. You think about how it’s crazy you’re all from the same family. But then, but then, you all know what it’s like to share a twin bed at the shore, and you all remember what it’s like to play Karen Cupay, and you all remember making potato salad sandwiches, and somewhere nestled in your brain you still think your family is better than everyone else’s family.