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Sisters' Act...

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Back when I suffered from the mighty arrogance of adolescence, they were an inescapable nuisance.  I locked them out of my room, using that bedroom door and any other means available to deny them passage into the inner circles of my life.  Maybe it was our age difference, or simply sibling rivalry, who knows?  At my ancient age of nearly forty, I finally comprehend what I missed so long ago…  

My grandfather’s voice firmly admonished us on more than one occasion; ‘One day you will live far away from each other and be sorry you acted this way.  Stop this foolishness and love your sisters.’  I always laughed to myself and shrugged off his words.  I couldn’t see my life more than five minutes ahead back then, much less imagine the scenario he suggested.  His hard-won wisdom flew right over my head.  Until the day I found myself saying almost the exact same thing to my children; I was startled to realize Grandpa Bodie was right.  I was in Charlotte, NC, Betsy in Middletown, RI and Winnie in Columbia, SC.  

The age span between all of my children and that of me and my sisters mirror each other.  Likewise the silly disputes, serious arguments, and status of declared enemies or allies, subject to the day of the week and the possible advantages or disadvantages…  My recent awareness makes the ongoing drama between my daughters difficult to watch.  Beth was the adored older sister, Grace the adoring younger sister.  Brian’s affections evolved over the years, changing with his maturity, but never quite reaching the place where he could co-exist with both simultaneously…  He wanted to hang with Beth when he was younger, and co-opted Grace as he got older.  Beth was the ‘cool’ big sis, his role model before he became ‘cool’ in his own right.  Grace turned into his confidante and co-conspirator, two teens united against their parents.  Who was more important or valued to their brother?  Their argument rages on, a pointless fight over Brian’s love via prejudiced memories; if only they could look beyond this moment to see they are all the other has now…  

I am twice blessed, having two others willingly taking on and sharing my burdens and heartache as their own.  My wonderful sisters have set aside their own lives to be with us as we endure the first Thanksgiving without Brian.  Through them, much needed help has arrived.  ‘REST’, a beautiful four-letter word, is possible for me now…  I can let down, let go, be sick, whatever, entrusting all care and concern to them.  They will be strong so I don’t have to be…    

Our bond of sisterhood transcends words…  They know not my exact sorrow, but experience it as closely as anyone else in this world is able…  Betsy lived with our family for a period of time, and often awoke to Brian’s smiling face barely millimeters from her own, gazing at her, silently staring her awake.  Years later, on every visit, he shamelessly begged her to bring home a stash of Chilis chips and salsa for him alone…  I know Winnie looks at her growing son and remembers Brian; it is easy to see similarities, from the one-guard haircut and skin coloring to their sky high energy level.  Because Chandler was a preemie, she knows all too well the possibilities; my agony could have easily been hers. 

I am comforted beyond measure by having them here…  Sisterly love, up close and in action...

As they work through their grief and learn from experience, I hope Beth and Grace come to recognize the person who knows them best is only a few stairs away…

Wishing you sunshine and  hope…tg

Grief support group meeting, August 29, 2009 @ 1 p.m.; Panera Bread, Matthews, NC location.  All welcome to join us!  

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator  

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