GBE2 prompt for this week is "Siblings" and at first I thought about how I do have one of each type and I could write about us or I could write about my blended family, the steps and the birthed by me kids. But hey, I've done enough stories about my amazing children and their amazing babies and this time, yes, my siblings will be my subject. They'll either love it or not read it or yell at me. Let's see how this goes, shall we?
My parents had a daughter and two years later had a son. Done! Family complete with Mom, Dad and one of each sex. Oops! Two years later, along comes number three! What? How? Well, they knew how, but still, What?
A Christmas baby...me.
My older sister is 5 years older than I and was my bedroom roommate until she married and moved out. We were not exactly friends. I wanted to hang with her and her friends, but being five years younger, they weren't interested in having me around. I totally didn't understand why not. I would sit on the top step and sorta pretend I was with them because I could hear most of what they talked about and I could pretend to be adding to the conversation. Until I got caught, by the sister, it was fun. After she told Mom and she made me move or there was a time or two that she just pushed me on down the stairs to rid herself of my intrusive behavior. Did she get in trouble for that? Probably, because although I don't remember, I'm sure I tattled on her. I was very skilled at tattling without adding any blame upon my innocent self.
In spite of all that kind of behavior we did grow up. When she married and moved out, I enjoyed going to her apartment and visiting her. She seemed much nicer after she moved out of MY bedroom. I had my own room, my own space and I was nearly 16, (14 is nearly 16, right?) would be driving very soon. Her living in her own apartment with her second-shift working husband who just happened to be my boyfriend's brother, was pretty awesome. I visited mostly evenings. It was enhanced by an immeasurable amount when she gave birth to my first niece. I was 16 by then and it was as if she had done this for me. Seriously! She had a very difficult breech birth and I was there day in and day out (July birth, no school) and many nights to cuddle, feed, change and love this little bundle of baby girl love. I had none of the parental responsibility and all of the aunty responsibility. Perfection in a baby blanket! Love her, bathe her, feed her, rock her, sing to her, (poor baby) and mostly thank her mommy for sharing her so unselfishly. We bonded over this baby in a friendship that still exists today. Oh, and our love for macaroni and cheese with grilled cheese sandwich dinners!
She is married now to a man much more her style. He is silly and organized and always doing something. They are retired and live nearby so we are still close. She is my "go-to" guy for all things that need talked out or vented out. I love my brother-in-law and I love that he adores my sister. I understand why.
My sister is my friend. She is a loving and kind woman and without question, the best sister anyone could ask to be given. Thanks Mom and Dad, you did a good job. I love you, Pat.
Now the boy child. The middle child. He was a major thorn in my side for most of my growing up years.(I think I was kind of an only child because neither of them saw any need for another child.) He teased. He taunted. I was a bed wetter. My mother handled that with dignity. She assured me, over and over, that it would pass. She reminded me not to drink after supper. She took me to the doctor to make sure it wasn't physical. I know now, looking back, it was that I slept the sleep of the dead. I would dream I was sitting on a toilet somewhere and then, naturally, I would pee. Did I mention that my sister and I shared a bed for about 6 years? Yeah. Bless her dampened heart. The boy child often teased me about bed-wetting in front of others and often as we all were in our beds and from his room he would make comments about the soggy side of the bed or scare me by making a "call" which sounds a little like "mitcheekaboooola"! He was a boy.
It was not really until he had an accident at work that I realized how much I really did love him. He was working for a construction company and a ditch he was standing in collapsed on him. His pelvis was crushed and he was hospitalized for what seemed like a very long time. I honestly don't know how many weeks it actually was, but he was in traction and in a lot of pain each time I was able to visit him. Mom was there every day and Dad every evening. I was 15 and tried to make dinner and keep calm and do the best I could at home so Mom wasn't overwhelmed with work. It was hard for everyone, but I was so afraid my brother would never really recover. I knew he wasn't going to die, but I couldn't imagine he would ever walk again seeing him in that bed in traction. It was awful.
When he finally came home, we had one of our twin beds (my room had two and Pat had already married and moved out) in the living room because he could barely get around with crutches and steps were out of the question. So in order to cheer him up, I would swing back and forth toward his bed on the crutches acting like I was going to land on him. Sounds kinda stupid now, but it always made him laugh, so I continued to do that and anything else I could think of to make him laugh. I believed he would heal faster if he laughed. His pain seemed to ease when I messed with him. I wanted him to heal. I even told him a time or two that I loved him. Might have been the first time.
He did recover with only a damaged leg which resulted in one thinner leg and a slight limp. He has managed to live a very productive life since and has only recently retired to enjoy his life of working hard to earn a nice retirement nest egg. He lives out of state and we don't see him often, maybe 3 to 4 times a year. He is married to a wonderful woman who keeps him in check. Bless her heart. If there was no other reason in the world to love her, it would be enough that she loves him. But there are many reasons to love her and I do.
When he read my first book he raved about my talent. Raved, I tell you. Nagged me to get it published. Nagged me to finish another so he could read it. Shared it with everyone who might be interested in reading it and gave me support and praise for maybe the first time since I married Roomy. He thinks I did good with this one. In all my life, the praise from this man for my own work, from my own head and hands, made a tremendous and profound difference in my writing. It made me want to be better. It made me want more.
I thanked him over and over for his kind words, but he insisted that he wasn't being kind, he was being honest. What a wonderful gift.
As adults we have lived in different states and his life and mine are not very entangled, but I know he is always there if I need him and visa-verse. I know that being the person Momma depends on most for her needs and wants both my brother and my sister have my back. That matters. I love you, Mike and as brothers go, mine ain't so bad.
In my life it is not a matter of spending hours and days in the company of either of my siblings that makes our relationships work, it is knowing that no one will ever be alone; unless they choose to be. It is knowing that all things family matter to all of us. It is loving unconditionally even when you don't like what someone has done and mostly it is knowing love exists through your entire life. The bond I share with my siblings is unbreakable. Unshakeable. Forever.
I have friends who feel like family and I am very grateful for that. I am even more grateful that my family feels like friends.
Maybe another time I will write about the brothers and sisters I inherited when I married Roomy. He is one of 7 children and I have a whole slew of fabulous in-laws from his side to write about, but that will be another day.