Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 5 - My Siblings

I have two sisters, both older than me, one by 13 years and the other by 17 years.  I do not ever remember living with the oldest one, and my family moved to a different state when I was 5 and the youngest one did not move with us. That means, most of my life, I was raised as an only child.  I am sure both sisters would agree I was spoiled rotten. They are probably right. :)

My oldest sister, Linda, had a baby when I was two. She made me an aunt at 2 years old (and our mom a grandma at 37!).  We never lived in the same state, but we did see Linda and her family at least a couple times a year, during long summer breaks and over Christmas.  Her son and I fought like brother and sister, until I realized if I stopped arguing he would not have anyone to fight with. I was about 11 when that happened. Most of my growing up time, she was more like a mom to me because she had to discipline the two of us. 

The sister closer in age, Donna, wanted a baby brother or sister, so was thrilled when I came along.  What I remember most strongly growing up was one summer when I spent some time at both sister's houses, she taught me how to make pies. I would get to pick out the recipes and we would make them. She taught me about making a good crust, patching up the parts that needed it - all of that. 

When I came out, at 22 to my family but a year earlier to myself, it was my sisters I first told - Linda first, then Donna, prepping for how and when I would tell Mom.  Even then I was good at building a case - I figured if I had lived an "out" lifestyle where I lived (3 hours away from the family) for the past year, when I told them I was gay, I could say that my life was good and I was happy and there was nothing to worry about. 

Over the past several years we've been though a lot with my father breaking his neck and having a very long recovery, him getting diagnosed and dying of lung cancer, and most recently, helping my mom through the death of her second husband. It is those times especially I am thankful to have sisters. 

In some ways, I have had the best of both worlds - raised as an only child, getting all of my parent's attention with the benefit of them already having been through having other kids, and also having sisters to provide a big family for get-togethers, holidays, and just knowing there are people in the world who will always support me. 

1 comment:

Lynilu said...

Good memories, and a good picture you've painted of your family. In my profession, we call you a "youngest only." I'm one, too. I am a little closer in age (13 to 7 years age spans), but still lived essentially as the only, rather spoiled child most of my life.

I enjoyed getting a "look" at your family. Thanks!

PS - I was spoiled in some ways by both husbands, as well, and it sucks being on my own now with no special somebody to continue the good times!