Sibling Rivalry

imageI come from a blended family. Two half sisters and two half brothers. I’m the baby of the family and needless to say, we put the fun in dysfunction.

I didn’t really grow up with my siblings around. I lived with my parents and my oldest sister until I was about seven, and she became and adult and moved out. One brother and sister lived with their mom and came to visit every other weekend or so, but then they got older and their visits slowed to a trickle. My other brother lived with his dad and I never really saw him until I was around ten. So, I was kind of like an only child with part time siblings.

Now that we are adults, communication is at a standstill. Sure, with social media and texting abilities, we stay in touch. But with jobs, families and lives of our own…we just aren’t close. Two siblings are in California, two are in Montana and I’m in Florida, so logistically we are all over the place. We are all so busy that none of us make the effort. It’s sad, but it’s true.

I think of my siblings often. And I miss them. Family is so important but it takes more than one person to keep things going. And none of us have stepped up to the plate. We talk on the standard holidays and birthdays, gifts and Christmas cards are sent. We do love each other. But no one is buying plane tickets for a visit to either coast any time soon.

There is one sibling that I don’t have a relationship with. Not necessarily by choice, it just sort of happened that way. The last time I saw him was in 2004, when I found out I was pregnant for the first time. We’ve talked maybe two or three times since then.

What’s funny is that him and I are a lot alike. We have similar musical tastes, outlooks on life and the same twisted sense of humor. It seems as though we would get along famously. And maybe we would…but the truth is he hasn’t been a real part of my life since I was a kid. He’s always come in and out, but for the last twelve years it’s been pretty much crickets.

This brother got married yesterday. To who I hear is a pretty awesome chick. My dad and sister went, but I was not invited. I wasn’t expecting to be invited but to be honest it does kind of hurt. We are family after all and there aren’t many of us left. But it happened and there is nothing that can be done about it now. I do wish my brother and his new wife all the happiness in the world.

Family is something that we as humans have a tendency to take for granted. We assume that family members will always be around, always accept our bullshit and we put off dealing with it because “there’s always tomorrow.”

But you know what? Tomorrow is not always guaranteed. So don’t hold grudges, don’t make excuses, don’t let anger make your decisions and don’t ever miss an opportunity to tell a loved one that they are in fact, loved.

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