Me and Marvelous.

When I was a little girl, I looked up to my big sister, as many little siblings do.

Lindsay is two years older, and was quite a star for a two-year-old. She took one look at me, after my parents had taken me home from the hospital, and said, “Hi, Nunu!” The nickname “Nunu” was a take on “new baby.” She had heard for nine or so months that a new baby would be coming home. She couldn’t visit me in the hospital because she had been sick, so she got to meet my on my parent’s bed, I believe. Scarlet did get to meet Des at the hospital after he was born, but then he went to the NICU for a week, and she was too sick to visit. The parallels never escape me. It reminds me of magical love in this vast earth.

There are other parallels too. NICU parallels. I’ll get to that one soon. I’m still in the past. When I was old enough to talk and string sentences together, I particularly liked words that fell off my tongue the right way. So I nicknamed my big sister, “Marvelous.” We were Nunu and Marvelous. Truth be told, I didn’t know it was a compliment. I was just a bratty little sister, putting my arm around her and singing, “Me and Marvelous!” Maybe I thought it was annoying to her. Maybe it was, but probably it wasn’t. Maybe she knew that marvelous was a compliment. The fact is, she IS marvelous. To everyone. To me.

I think I have something to say here, because as Adam Sandler says in one of our favorite movies – The Wedding Singer – “Well I have a microphone and YOU don’t. So you will listen to every (darn) word I have to say!” Sometimes, blogging is like that. I feel like I’m holding a microphone, in the one capacity in which I feel comfortable holding a microphone. I am no public figure. I’m a background girl. My sister, Lindsay has a blog too. She IS a public figure. She’s a rock DJ/Yogi with a great social media following. In high school she was a cheerleader, and I was stage crew in drama club. You’d think this would cause years of jealousy or resentment, but it never did. She was always looking at me and listening to me, and noting how our differences were marked, but poignant. I was always looking at her and listening to her too. We saw and heard each other. We still do.

(Photo by Jean Fordyce)

We have the same heart, although hers can be more open than mine. We’re both meant to have microphones, just in different capacities. We’re both meant to cry and scream and love and live – preferably as close as possible. Close at heart.

As I’ve said many times in the past, my son went to the NICU for a week, not long after birth. It’s not an experience I’d ever want to repeat or have anyone else experience, but sometimes life has other plans. Doctors and nurses are amazing, and new parents rise up to the challenges they face, because that’s what love and life can give us. My nephew, Parker Steven, was born eight weeks early this month, and Lindsay and her husband, Mike, rose to the challenge. They became parents, fast and furiously, and the love was fast and furious. It was scary and traumatic, but they made all the right calls. They were strong.

My sister is my everyday hero, because she used this scary experience to grow and thrive, into a mom, and into a new person. She could have faltered or closed her heart. She could have done a lot of things, but she saw only one option. Be Parker’s Mama, and be his Mama in fierce love and support. My sister is my everyday hero, because she knows how to draw people close in her time of need, and not drive them away. I could learn a thing or two. I think I am learning every day.

(Photo by Heather Glogolich)

In 1999, Annie Leibovitz published a book of portraits called Women. It was made in collaboration with Susan Sontag, and was accompanied by an exhibition that opened to great acclaim at the Corcocan Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

In January of 2016, the UBS x Leibovitz collaboration continues to explore the changes in the roles of women today, while bringing to life one of the greatest art exhibitions of the 21st century. This tour will travel to ten host cities over the course of a year. The venues will be selected based on unique architectural context within the host city, as well as the ability to attract both local and global attention. Entry is complimentary. Visit www.ubs.com/annieleibovitz for more information.

Exhibition cities include the following:
• London
• Tokyo
• San Francisco
• Hong Kong
• Singapore
• Mexico City
• Istanbul
• Frankfurt
• New York
• Zurich

Have a hero? Tell her! You can win a trip for two to meet Annie Leibovitz at a city near you. Upload a black and white photo of your everyday hero on Instagram using the hashtag #ShareYourHero, and tag @UBS and @AnnieLeibovitz.

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73 Comments

  1. Oh my lord I’m
    Beyond touched, inspired, grateful, everything ….. I’m so lucky mom decided to have two babies and my Nunu became the other half of my heart. As I said before, this experience makes me
    Long for you, because you are the other half of my heart… And Parker’s DNA, his auntie. Thank you beyond thanks for this…. I’ll
    Never forget these beautiful words written as your microphone. Xoxo

    1. I can’t believe I stayed up so late to share this with you, instead of posting it today! I’m glad!
      I long for you always! I can’t wait to smush up his cheeks. It will be so soon.
      XOXO
      P.S. “Oh. Well. Good luck finding a DJ who can move and shake like THIS.”

  2. Oh this is beautiful! Everyday heroes are the best and blogging stages and microphones to share the stories of these heroes is an even better thing!

  3. Wow – what a beautiful relationship you share with your sister! My sister is 5.5 years younger than me, so we never had much in common growing up. Once we became moms our bond grew stronger, and now we’re great friends. Your new nephew is so beautiful!

    1. That interests me because if I were to have another girl, she’d be at LEAST 7-8 years younger than Scarlet, and 4-5 years younger than Des. Not sure that would work for me!
      Parker is so beautiful – thank you!

  4. Aw, truly a wonderful tribute to Lindsey and was even better than I imagined it to be. Seriously, have tears in my eyes after reading and also chuckled at The Wedding Singer reference. Absolutely perfect 😉

    1. I remember seeing that movie in the theater. And Linz loves it too. It has the best lines! As I said above to her, “Oh. Well. Good luck finding a DJ who can move and shake like THIS.”

  5. What a MARVELOUS tribute! YO(u and Lindsey are lucky to have one another. And Parker is scrumptious! And I love the microphone analogy. Beautiful!

    1. Somehow.. it just came to me! Blogging, being a DJ, loving The Wedding Singer. It just works.
      Parker is edible. I agree. I can’t wait to smush his cheeks like I have with cute baby Myles.

  6. You three daughters are my heroes for sure! You have all followed your dreams with careers and new babies too! This post brought me to tears but tears of pride and a remeberance of years worn of life well lived.

  7. Such a beautiful post!
    There is nothing like the relationship with a sister. My sister is one of the most important people in my life as well. I remember so well when she was born and meeting her in the hospital.

  8. This was awesome to read brought a tear to my eye, it is very beautiful just like you lovely ladies 🙂 And all your kids are gorgeous.

  9. Oh my this was beyond beautiful. I had to wipe my eyes to read a few lines. I have only known Lindsay for a few years now but wow when she let’s you in. ..you are in deep and that is LoVe, Love is Lindsay.

  10. Awww this is beautiful. I have a step-sister, but we’ve been family since I was 13 and she was like 10 or 11. I consider her my real sister every single day. She’s my best friend. 🙂

    1. Oh, definitely! I have three siblings that aren’t blood but we’re real siblings. My little sister and my sister-in-law are totally amazing.

    1. Or, she may tell you to write her one in a blog post! I think you even met my sister years ago. She loved you because you were giving me good love advice about Evan. In the bathroom of a bar!

      1. That’s hysterical! I don’t remember it. Oh how I miss those “love advice in bar bathrooms” kind of evenings!

  11. Beautiful! You and Lindsey have a special relationship that is just lovely. I’ve been watching all the pictures of her and Parker on social media, etc. and cheering them on. I’m sure I can’t even imagine what it’s like, but she’s lucky to have you to lean on.

    1. Aw, yes! Social media helps. I can’t wait to squeeze his cheeks.
      I’m glad she is reaching out to me, because I’m happy to be here.

  12. Such a lovely post, Tamara, and a wonderful tribute to sisterhood. I especially love your names, Marvelous and Nunu. How incredibly sweet.

  13. This is beautiful! I love the relationship that you two have and how much admiration there is! I have been following Lindsay’s journey and I can say that she is one strong woman!

  14. I’m not even going to lie… this made me all kinds of choked up today. I love to see sisters who get along, and it’s beautiful your friendship, your support, and your encouragement of one another (not to mention your adorable nicknames). <3

  15. What a sweet nickname to give your sister. I definitely believe she’s earned the title, though. I really hope our girls grow up to be as close as the two of you.

    1. I bet they will. I’d love another girl for Scarlet to have a sister. Or another boy for Des to have a brother. Siblings = love.

  16. You two are lucky to have each other! Perhaps I am wrong, but I think the type of love you two share is less rather than more common. I’ve never really had the sister experience although I’ve found substitutes. Always been a hole in my life. All the kids from my parents and their siblings have been boys.

    1. Now that is interesting. I only know my own sibling relationships, but I would hope there are many more like this. With the intense love and support.
      We certainly bickered as kids, though. A lot!

  17. Such a nice tribute to your sister. I am so glad that Parker is getting stronger – he is such a cutie! I always wanted a sister too!

    1. 5 1/2 pounds now! He’s almost as big as his cutie big cousin, Myles.
      I wonder if Scarlet will one day wish she had a sister. She talks about it a lot, but recently changed her mind.
      It’s sort of adorable that she thinks she has control over any of it!

  18. I’ve always wanted a sister. It’s wonderful how supportive you guys are of each other! Also, it would be awesome to meet Annie Leibovitz. I wish she was coming to a city near me 🙂

  19. what an amazing tribute, I kinda had a feeling it was coming too. It was beautiful. Also, things happen for a reason, so it was like you were an NICU angel for her … you knew what she was going through and you could help.

    1. I think I may have teased it a bit, but only eagle-eyed people noticed it! And you know me. I would have done this anyway.
      I always can’t wait to see her again.

  20. What a great nickname for your sister. It’s great that she continues to be Marvelous to you and others 🙂

  21. This is so beautiful!! Awww you two! I’m an only child, someone get over here and hug me! Ha.
    This is what I hope for my two daughters… this closeness and bond and so much love. They seem to be doing okay right now, but then as an only child, I am not really sure what I should be looking for. I’ll just have to learn as they do. It’s a hard step right now because I am currently separating them into their own bedrooms! I hope it doesn’t destroy their bond. I hope they still visit one another next door. I hope there are sister sleepovers.

    1. Aww.. did someone come over and hug you?
      Having grown up with two sisters, don’t worry. We fought ALL THE TIME! We don’t now. Somehow it all works out. I know you can’t force kids to be friends for life or anything, but never worry about the sibling arguments. That’s just what happens. We had separate rooms and I’d still sneak in and sleep on her bottom bunk.
      The nightlight is always on for me, figuratively.

      1. No. But hubby tries to sneak in a hug daily. BWWAH!!!
        And I woke up this morning, after middle girls first night in her new room and little ones first night sleeping alone ever — to find them playing together in the new room. And then….. 10 minutes later slamming doors on each other. LOL So situation all normal here. 🙂

  22. This was absolutely beautiful, Tamara. It’s so lovely to see such a loving sisterly bond between you & your sister. I hope my girls are close when they grow up, I hope they’ll always have each other’s backs & will be there for one another when I’m long gone. You have such a beautiful loving heart.

    XOXO

  23. I wish I had that bond with my sister or any ember of my family, truly. I have spent plenty of time in the NICU, six weeks and I would never want to repeat it. The parents are so strong, so resilient and those babies are so vulnerable and precious. You can see the life running through the room as the little bodies fight their way to health. Kisses.

  24. This is so moving. You have such a great sister bond and I can say I have that similar friendship with my little sister too. It’s wonderful!

  25. Hi Tamara, you just have to look at the pictures to see the closeness between you and your sister and I think it’s lovely. In this world there is enough room for everyone, no matter how different we are and it’s nice that you and your sister respect one another despite being totally different.

    I love the photograph of you ‘helping’ your sister get ready for her wedding, the happiness shines through.

    xx

  26. Wow. She really is marvelous – but is it because you called her that so she became it – or did you call her that because she already was? Chicken egg…

    Or maybe too much cold medication.

    Anyway – this is a very loving tribute to a pretty amazing lady.

  27. i haven’t been able to see it, but the leibovitz exhibit is getting a lot of press here in SF. i also just read that there is a museum of her work opening up in wine country. i read lindsay’s birth story on her blog. she is an amazing mama!

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