****As penned by my sister, Jill ...
When my father passed away, I was 21. During the very few weeks leading up to his death I spent the weeks with my sister driving back and forth to the hospital. We would talk on the car rides up, spend all day together in the waiting room, then continue our conversations on the drive back. For some reason I don't remember to conversation, but I do remember us playing "Time Bomb" by The Format, over and over again and eventually learning to words where we were singing along.
We didn't always get along. In fact, in my eyes she wasn't my older sister most of the time. She was a second mother who took the reigns when our mother was at work. Sometimes she would make me breakfast, then we would walk to the park, then come back and watch t.v. together.
As we got older, I became the little sister that was her shadow. I always wanted to be with her, and play with her and her friends. She even took me trick-or-treating with her and her cool friends. (Yes, that's me dressed as Barney.)
I tried to hang with the big kids. I would try and be "fearless" to fit in with them. Like the time Hyacynth mentioned, when she pulled me in our red Radio Flyer wagon. I told her, "Hyacynth, it's too bumpy. SLOW DOWN!"
My sister then replies to me, "If I go faster the bumps will go away."
Trusting my older, much smarter sister, I nodded my head up and down to give her the go ahead to go faster. Big mistake. The wagon tipped over and she ran me over breaking my finger. I remember crying and crying how mad I was and how wrong she was. I still never let her live this down.
I was sifting through pictures and noticed the older we got, the less pictures we took together. We were always in different stages of our lives. There's a 6 year age difference between us, so when she was in high school, I was still in elementary school and we didn't have too much in common. As I look through my computer files I'm enjoying looking at gems like these.
Then I see a huge gap. No more pictures of just her and I, just forced family photos. I guess you could say we "grew apart" for some time. She was in college and didn't come home very often. Then she got married and had kids. She would visit on the weekends, but by that time I was in high school and cared more about my friends and was a typical teenager.
While my dad was sick, we became really close and after he passed away he continued to grow in our relationship together. She started to become more than a sister, she was becoming a friend. Then at the age of 21, I needed a change. I saw myself falling into a black hole, spending more time with the wrong people in the wrong places. I saw myself slipping quickly. I think God was showing my sister and brother-in-law too. We joked that I could work for them, but then it turned into a serious offer. (Cue Godfather voice) They gave me an offer I couldn't refuse. I was going to move 2 hours away and live with and work for them.
Oh boy, did my life change. I went from living with just my mom and having all my friends by me, to living with not only my sister, but a brother-in-law, a 3 year old and a 1 year old and having no friends around me. I found myself bonding more with my sister and finding drinking and being wild less desirable. I found my way back to living a life for God and not for worldly things. Photos between my sister and I went from forced and fake smiles to this:
Soon, I met my husband and fell in love, moved out, and created my own family. It's amazing how God brought the tragedy of my father's death into a blessing within my sister and mine's relationship. I thank God every day that I lived with my sister, that he moved her and John to let me live with them, and give me a job. I'm so thankful that I was brought out of a life that was going nowhere except a dead end job and wasting my time doing stupid things. So dear sister, I love you. Thanks for being my best kind of friend when I needed you the most.
While I'm on a writing hiatus this week, my sister Jill is sharing stories here in this space; hope you enjoy her as much as I do!
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