7. Siblings

I’m the youngest of 4. I was the “oops” baby. Trailing 4 years after the last and making my mom sick the last half of her pregnancy. I was a surprise that was accepted with grace on my parents’ part.
I don’t have a lot of memories with my brother from when I was young. He was 6 years older than me and I was just the annoying little sister who got in the way. I’ve only a handful of good memories with him, times when friends were over and we all would play together. Then there are the other more dominant memories of his anger or his absence.
My oldest sister was my hero when I was young. She watched out for me and never minded if I tagged along. She would tuck me into bed and give me a kiss and a hug, telling me she loves me and always offering me a smile. I felt safe with her.
Next was my resentful sister. She hated me. I could feel it when I walked into the same room as her. She had been the baby and I had bumped her to the middle. We clashed on everything. We would fight, be forced to make up, be v told to hug and tell each other we’re sorry. I even remember being told that if our attitudes toward each other didn’t improve mom would lock us in our “doll room” (which was really just a big closet housing our doll things) until we liked each other.
I could almost include my cousin who lived next door as my younger sister. We spent so much time together that her mom would ground me and my mom would ground her if we fought. These fights never lasted long because we liked each other too much. When told we couldn’t go to the other’s house we found a loop hole. She would sit on their side of the property line and I would sit on my side and we would sit and talk until our “time out” was over. We could never get in trouble for it because technically neither of us was at the other person’s house. In high school we were inseparable. We did everything together, spent every day together, and some weeks, every night. We were even the victims of a car accident together, breaking our pelvises and riding in wheelchairs together.
As the years passed and I moved up into high school, my biological siblings were getting married and moving out. High school was spent, for the most part, without them around.
It wasn’t until I was married that things started to really change up.
Within the last 2-3 years things have reversed in pretty much every way.
My brother got a divorce and we’ve developed a caring and pretty close relationship. He’s become the older brother I always wanted. We joke and talk together and have become friends.
My oldest sister went through a rough patch in her marriage and became extremely religious. Our views differ immensely and we have drifted very far apart. It makes me feel sad, but at the same time I’m not going to modify my beliefs for us to be closer and I would never ask her to do the same.
The sister who I could never get along with had become my favorite sister to talk to. We can laugh together and talk about anything. In fact I am looking forward to seeing her today. She’s become an amazing woman and mother that I admire for her ability to handle the struggle they’ve been through in the last year. Their 2 year old son was diagnosed with diabetes and since her husband travels a lot for work so she has been handling all of this, for the majority, by herself.
My cousin was forced to marry her boyfriend that she wanted to move in with. She was told if she moved in with him without being married she would no longer be able attend church, which is largely made up of her family. In order to not lose them, she married him and things were not so great to begin with. I’m still not convinced they’ve gotten much better, but she’s claimed they have. She lives too far away and our lives have gotten too busy. We hardly see each other anymore.
Even though things have changed so much, I’ve learned to just roll with the punches and enjoy the time I spend with each of them. I will always have love in my heart for every single one of my siblings, even the one who is technically my cousin. No matter how much life changes, family should always be the constant and that’s why no matter how much our lives differ, I will always do my best to preserve the relationships I have with them.

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