If you have brother or sisters you might find them a blessing…or not…or maybe you always wished you had one…or some…or none! Regardless of your own situation, a sibling knows us in a way that no one else does. They remember the stories of our childhood, the time we got in trouble, or the time we should have gotten into trouble. They had their opinions of us then and they have certainly have their opinions of us now. Regardless if you were the oldest or the youngest or that middle child, a sibling is a unique person and someone who knows our secrets, our parents, our past.
Thommee and I are both from large families. With us falling into the eldest categories, we have a great deal in common on this subject. One of the things we both agree on is that the parents that raised us are not the same parents that raised the younger brothers and sisters! How can that be? Same home, same parents, same history. Whoa! Not the same history (or at least not remembered in the same way). His family tells a story about a vacation to the Fontana Dam in the Smokey Mountains but each sibling who tells the story puts their own spin on it. They love to tell this story when they get together. Depending on who is telling the story, however, determines how the adventure went. (Since I have heard it from each one at a different time I feel I know it best with an unbiased viewpoint-although they might disagree!). My siblings have our own stories. We laugh about five kids in a station wagon at a drive-in movie. After much ado getting settled in for the movie some child actually had the nerve to say the rearview mirror was in the way. My father reached up and yanked the mirror off the windshield and calmly asked, “can everyone see now?” I was not there for that infamous trip but understand that not a peep was to heard for the duration of the movie.
I had the opportunity to reminisce this weekend with my brothers and sisters. We told our stories, laughed, and had a fantastic time. We all have our own and very different lives but have remained close. Our parents are gone and we often comment on how pleased they would be to see that we have held on dearly to our relationships as siblings. Certainly we do not always agree with each other but somehow we overlook all of that to embrace the unique and specialness of brothers and sisters.
Families today are much more complicated. We have raised our six kids in a blended family. It is not often easy-we can attest to that! As parents, we have tried to merge the values and beliefs our parents instilled in us. We struggled, they struggled, there were tears, arguments, and heartache. Hang in there. Our kids are grown and now have families of their own. Thankfully, they are continuing to build on their own adult sibling relationships with great success. For any of you struggling with this, please be encouraged. Patience, faith, and time can accomplish miracles!