Today is National Sibling Day, another made up holiday. The best thing about this is that it gave me pause to think about my siblings. I grew up in a blended family, though in though days we did not call it anything other than a family. We were all treated the same when you were in our household, same rules, same expectations, no one special. A kid was a kid.
Today I want to thank my siblings because you made me the best I could be. You all contributed to what I am today. I like who I have turned out to be and you, my siblings, were part of that.
Sometimes I was the oldest child and sometimes I wasn’t. Sometimes I only had brothers and other times not. It allowed me to take the best from multiple birth orders and incorporate it in to my being. You were there in the best of times and the worst of times. You taught me why it is important to be competitive, because if you aren’t you get what is leftover and no one wants only black jelly beans. I quickly learned life isn’t always fair, because I still think you were not above cheating to win, and you don’t always get what you want. You taught me empathy and compassion for others, when you shared your jelly beans when I lost for the umpteenth million time. You taught me how to be strong and the feelings of helplessness. You taught me to never ever give up and how to be a good leader and a graceful looser. You taught me that fair and just is not always the same as equal. You also taught me how to think and be creative because we were not all created equal. You taught me to use the skills I had because I would seldom be the tallest, fastest, have the experience or knowledge I thought I needed. Together you taught me the value of teamwork and the importance of working together. You taught me that we were never going to be the same, so respect differences. With you I learned how to make do with what life dealt me, because you were not always going to share or help.
Some of this might sound a little whiny, but it isn’t meant to be. I persevered not in spite of my siblings and because of them. Being their sister I ended up with a great set of life skills, a sense of reality and knowledge of my personal and civic responsibility that have served me well. I would not want anyone else for my siblings. Love you all. I am telling you this today because someone moron in Washington DC declared today your holiday when they should have been fixing the budget, preventing war or saving the world. Had that moron been in our family then adult or not I promise that one of the siblings would have called them and reminded them of what they had learned about life growing up and to get down to work and get things done.
When I look at this snapshot of my brother and me it makes me smile. I am not sure what was going on in this photo I was too young to remember when this photo was taken. I think my life was full of big sister-little brother moments so this was likely one of many and nothing so special about this particular moment it has stuck in my mind for over 50 years.
What in the heck was this snowsuit all about? It looks like our mother thought my brother was going to be outside for hours instead of the few minutes that she took to photograph this moment.
I was likely two and my brother six months or so old. I was holding him tight with my little mittened hands and watching over his shoulder to make sure the world was right for for my baby brother, whom my mother had entrusted me with. It was the beginning of a lifetime relationship of caring about my brothers. Though much of our lives my brothers and I have lived half a continent or more apart they are still my brothers who I love and care about as much today as when this photo was taken with the middle brother. I don’t think about my brothers most days, I am busy wrapped up in my life I hate to admit. But then I come across a photo like this and am reminded that I have some pretty awesome brothers.
P.S. To my other brothers who are not in this photo, you rock too. I love you all, but this was the snapshot I found today, so it was the one I used to remind me of what a great bunch of guys I get to call brother.
People are writing about all the things that they are thankful for this holiday season. One of the things I am thankful for is my brothers. I have a whole assortment of them each different and special. One is older, three are younger. They are all sorts: one regular, one step and two halfs. They have been friends, confidants, rivals, protectors, pests, public embarrassments, tattle tales, but always there. You four know who you are. I am glad you are part of my family by blood or by marriage.
Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero. ~Marc Brown
I have always known there was nothing like the love of brothers and sisters. Growing up my brothers and I have fought like cats and dogs, yet I knew they always had my back. We have left the nest, got jobs, had families and gone our own way. One brother has traveled the world and another lives in the town we grew up in. My youngest brother still has one in high school, while the oldest is working on grand kids. Life has taken each of us on a different course, yet when we get together there is still that connection. A good safe connection; that knowledge that time doesn’t diminish bonds. As strongly as I feel that bond with my brothers, my cousins are living that bond.
My brothers and me
My cousin has an illness that is requiring a bone marrow transplant. She has two brothers, one a close match and one a perfect match. Her perfect match brother is giving his sister the gift of life, some of his bone marrow. That is love. He has his sister’s back in a way no one else could. My cousin will spend the next 28 days in the hospital. She is undergoing chemotherapy getting ready to receive the marrow and all that goes with it. I pray for her and a speedy recovery. I also pray for her brother who has stepped up to share with his sister in her greatest time of need a piece of himself.