Monday, March 21, 2011

Sisters, Sisters...

By: Rebecca Leighton Burke
From: Victoria Hamilton's Vintage Kitchen Mysteries - Book 1: May 2012.

Do any of you have younger siblings? Do you worry about them, even when they're full grown? Well, I still worry about my little sister, Jaymie Leighton. She keeps telling me she's thirty-two and can look after herself, and I know that's true, but still...

I should introduce myself. My name is Rebecca Leighton Burke, (aka Becca) and I run RLB China Matching out of my home in London, Ontario, Canada. Though I was born and raised in Queensville, Michigan, a tiny town along the St. Clair River, I married a Canadian and moved north. Even after we divorced, I stayed. It worked out, because Grandma Leighton lives in London, and since our mom and dad moved down to Boca, I look after things for her. She's a feisty octogenarian who lives in a retirement home, but I manage her finances and make sure she has everything she needs. Jaymie comes up and helps by taking Grandma shopping and running errands.

As a side note, if you're wondering what my china matching service does... well, the easy way to explain is, say you've broken a teacup from the family set of Royal Crown Derby Red Aves (a pattern that was discontinued in 1997) I can find you a replacement... for a price. I love it; it is two parts scavenger hunt and one part antique dealer. I travel to china shows all over Canada and the United States, buy a lot from pickers and dealers, and sell even more.

Bone china is the most beautiful invention humankind ever came up with. It's versatile and lovely, but utilitarian, too. I suppose my love of bone china explains why I don't understand Jaymie's obsession with old junk; her collection of vintage tins, Pyrex dishes, twentieth century cookbooks, old kitchen utensils and the like, puzzles me.

But back to sisters. When Jaymie was born I was almost fifteen; Mom handed me this tiny, squirming doll wrapped in a pink blanket, and I just fell in love. She was so sweet, and I loved feeding her, bathing her and babysitting her when mom and dad went out. Looking back, I realize I almost felt like her mother at times. I still worry about her like a mother hen. Jaymie is kind of reserved, and doesn't give her heart easily. When she fell head over heels for Joel Anderson I was happy she had found someone. I didn't even mind when he moved into the Leighton family house in Queensville with her. I knew that step was a big deal for her. I think she would have married him if he'd asked her, but he never did.

When he walked out on her I wanted to kill him. Oh, I didn't, don't worry; nobody did. He is still living happily with his new love, bubble-headed Heidi Lockland, while Jaymie eats her heart out and mopes around that big, lonely Queen Anne house alone. She seems to keep herself busy and has thrown herself into her collecting until the kitchen looks so cluttered I've threatened to turn her in to that TV show 'Hoarders'. I have a feeling she's working on some kind of project, but I don't know what it is. She tells me she's doing all right.

I'm just so afraid Joel's desertion has soured Jaymie on love, you know? I don't want her to miss out on anything, and that is from a two-time loser at marriage. She deserves a husband and kids and everything else good that life can offer. I feel so helpless, and I want to rip pretty little Heidi Lockland's bleached hair out by the roots for stealing Joel away.

So what I need to know is... is it normal to be so angry at someone who hurt a sibling? Have any of you had to watch someone you love suffer through a broken heart? And what did you do, sit on the sidelines, give advice, or try to help? I'm just not sure how to handle it.

FaceBook: Victoria Hamilton


  1. Hi Becca,

    I have three younger sisters and I know exactly what you mean. I want the best for them and when they're having problems the only thing to do is listen and when they seek your advice, try to be as diplomatic as you can and still get your point/view across. Hang in there, she'll find someone.

  2. Oooh! I think I'll copy that lovely filet crochet tablecloth in your photo!

    I'm about your age, Becca, and my daughter is about Jaymie's age, and really good at choosing Mr. Wrong (a trait she may have inherited from me.) I look forward to reading the advice you'll get today.

    I'll email you separately about the cracked tea cup.

  3. Thanks, Dru, for the vote of confidence. If I have to see Jaymie roll her eyes one more time when I say something...!

  4. Opal, I'm not the crafty kind... Jaymie is, but she doesn't crochet. Good lucky with the fillet... uh, filet crochet! LOL.

    And I boast that I can find a match for any kind of china, just show me a picture! But if it is merely cracked, in reality, there are some very good professionals who can repair it so you won't even notice!

  5. Wow -- sounds like you've got a fascinating business, as does Jayme. Looking forward to reading about it all when the series debuts next summer! Good luck!!

  6. I am addicted to china and am really glad to know you. As for someone hurting a family member, murder always come to my mind. Of course, I don't follow through, just feel like it.

    I hope Jayme finds happiness. Glad to meet you and look forward to meeting her too!

  7. Thanks, Erika, for the wishes!

    Ah, Mary Jane, a china addiction I can understand! If Jaymie ever asks me to fill in for her again here at Killer Characters I'm going to share a photo of the teacup shelf that the husband of a friend made for me, to show my favorites. I have so many, I have to rotate them!

    But I would never consider murder... I promise! I do hope Jaymie finds someone else to love.

  8. Becca, don't worry, she will find love. Just give it time and trust her. I know from experience--on both sides of the situation, as it were--that all that is needed is patience a listening ear and maybe a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes, for those who want a soundingboard, advice or an opinion is the last thing they want. They're just looking for comfort.

    On the flipside of this, I've found you can give all the sound advice and opinions you want, but if Jaymie is like a friend of mine, you'll just have to wait and let her discover the truth of your advice on her own. Some people just need to discover or learn lessons first-hand.

  9. I know all about taking care of little sisters. Mine gets herself into all kinds of trouble. But we gotta love them, right?

  10. Hey Shiloh,

    Not much chance of Jaymie crying on my shoulder. She's pretty self-contained. But I'll try to be there for her. She just kind of walks around in this tight ball of misery, you know? It worries me. I'll give her time.

    And Darcy... gotta love 'em? Absolutely. She's a good sister.