Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Love letter to J and R

 Siblings: With you at the start, for you 'til the end.

At least, that's the ideal.

I know so many people, including some relatives, who have negligible, icy, or downright hostile relationships with their siblings.  I guess there's nothing to guarantee that people will get along just because they have the same parents and some of the same genetic make up, but it does make me sad when brothers and sisters are not also allies and friends.  Siblings know better than anyone who and what and where we came from.  They are characters in a lot of our stories, in our histories.  For good or for ill, they help shape who we become.  What a shame when enmity or neglect replace intimacy.

I feel extraordinarily fortunate in my sister and brother.  I won't say I can't live without them, but without them, my life would be poorer, smaller, less happy, less sweet.  

We haven't always been as close as we are now.  Certainly we were close when we were young children. Our family moved often, so that we were the constants in each others' lives, always there no matter what friends we made and then lost.  Our parents were very good at making each of us feel special and fully loved, so I don't remember any sense of rivalry from those early years, only that J and R were my best playmates.  But there were periods when my sister was away starting her own family, and my brother was living a secretive (to the family) sort of hippy-ish life, and I was in Los Angeles chasing an acting career.  We still had a generic, habitual sort of love for one another, but didn't communicate much, didn't know each other very deeply.

When our beloved Mom died, however, the three of us immediately became a team and began to work together to help our dad through those terrible first weeks, and then the hard, hard next - and last - year of his life.  No one directed our efforts; we seemed to naturally find our appropriate roles and tasks.  We shared our grief in a way we couldn't with anyone else.  We were there for each other, without question, without reservation.

When Dad died and the work of closing our parents' estate was finally completed, we had bonded so thoroughly that we didn't want to go back to the occasional phone call or email, so we instigated a bi-weekly Zoom which continues to this day.  I cherish these get togethers as a way to continue to get to know my siblings, to stay caught up on their news and the news of their children, my nieces and nephews.  I love them so, my darling sibs.  I admire and respect and trust them.  And I like them, too, which is perhaps even more precious.  

1 comment:

  1. How I love this post, Babs. It's encouraging to me to know there are other sets of siblings who are so similar to ours. Close, not so close, close again. Yes, we were on our own paths in those career and raising family days, after our father's death when we were all in our 20s. But we became closer in our mother's later years and never had a fuss or hassle and were right there in agreement when Mom became ill. Now it's just my brother and me; our baby sis has been gone four years. He and I are close in mind and spirit, even though there are many miles between us. And yes, we like each other. xoA