Sisters, I have a few

My wife has two older sisters she has recently reconnected with. They are both wonderful people. You have no idea how happy her finding them made me. Through various choices made by the parents involved she hadn’t met one before and one she only had vague memories of. Having been involved in our own custody drama I am not one to judge that long separation. I am just glad that as adults they can be sisters to each other now.

I really like her family. I find them kind, gracious and funny as hell. When it comes to in-laws I won the lottery in both of my marriages. My ex-husband’s family was a great big bunch of good people who may not have culturally seen eye to eye with me but that were always there for us no matter what. I never had any reserve thinking of his parents with love even if we didn’t understand each other a lot of the time.

Then I have the women I call the sisters of my heart. WendyH, WendyT, Lilly, Lea, Debra and Heidi. These ladies have been there through thick and thin even as our lives change and move us apart, socially and geographically. I know all I have to do is call them up and I have a sister to stand shoulder to shoulder with if I need it. And I hope they know they can do the same.

WendyH deserves a special shout out. She is my oldest female friend. We share a history and friendship that spans 27 years. From that first late night in the barracks where we ended up talking until dawn to the day long phone calls that our significant others put up with when we can make our schedules line up she has been my sounding board and confidant. I have no idea how many times she’s told me I can make it just when the chips were so far down I wasn’t sure I would make it. But she has and I wouldn’t trade her for anything.

My relationship with my own flesh and blood sister hasn’t been as smooth sailing. I was a typical bratty younger sibling that she was saddled with watching when all she wanted to do was go hang out with her friends without me to tattle on her. I was more laid back that she was with the advantage of enjoying having few friends and with the desire to have most of my adventures in the books I read, while she wanted to get out and do all the fun things that her peers were doing. Our lives and personalities handed us a lot of reasons to resent or not understand the other’s perspective. We became toxic to each other. We definitely weren’t our best selves to each other.

It led to us to becoming estranged more than once. This last one had me thinking that was it. I was done. Perhaps luckily, one thing we do both share is that we are stubborn as hell. I think my stubborness to not give in and back down my boundaries gave us both time to actually be our own people without the others expectations or competition. And her stubbornness to try and rebuild that connection finally led to us talking again. There is something different in our relationship now. Maybe it’s a little fragile or maybe we realize now how fragile it always has been. Either way I’m glad to have my sister back and looking forward to getting to know the woman she is now with out my expectations of who I thought she had been in the past.