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Almost Sisters

By Susan Rogers

The small black and white photograph is curled, tinted blue at the edges—one of few photos that survived the flood in our apartment’s basement storage space when Hurricane Hazel hit Toronto in 1954.

I stare into the camera at age three months from the arms of my mother; she smiles proudly, an Ava Gardner look-alike with her arched eyebrows, dark bowed lips, and brunette hair sculpted into waves.

But where is Judy?

She must have lived with us at that time—1950, the year I was born. She might have been at school when this picture was taken. Perhaps, though, the “incident” had already occurred, and she was gone.

Judy was in our lives for such a blip in time that I never got a chance to develop a reliable memory of her. She is like a paint-by-numbers picture before the colors are added. And now what’s missing has returned, a ghostly presence suggesting what could have been. How I might have had a sister of sorts, someone with shared family memories and duties.



About the Author

Susan Rogers has her roots in journalism as a print reporter and editor, magazine writer, and radio and TV producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She has branched out to writing fiction and won several awards for creative nonfiction in the annual international literary contest held by the Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop. Her ten-minute plays have been performed four years in a row at the 10x10 Play Showcase in Thunder Bay, a city at the top of Lake Superior, where she now lives. Family is one of her recurring themes and the basis for a novel in the works. Besides reading, writing and theatre, her other passions include canoeing, snowshoeing and dancing the Argentine Tango.