Funny how your relationship with your sister or sisters changes so radically as you age. When we were kids they thought I was cool. They followed me everywhere. My two younger glued themselves to me. If I wasn't forced to bring them they would sneak and end up behind me. Not that I was doing anything really awful, but I was a rebellious sort. My father was very strict and the worst thing you could ever hear was, I'm telling your father. At that time in the sixties, I was in seventh or eighth grade and on up into high school, and I watched other girls do the things I wanted so much to do. So, I would use any opportunity I could to have fun. I always got myself in trouble for doing things I wasn't supposed to do! I know you're thinking really bad, but my idea of sneaking around now that I think about it was pretty innocent.Why was I always in so much trouble?
 ImageI'll give you an example. Maybe I pushed the limits? On Sunday my parents would send me along with my three sisters to go to church. I never got why they didn't have to go, and truthfully going to Catholic school I had religion bubbling up the yin yang. In Catholic school you were in church every day for part of the day. It was endless. On the weekend I resented sitting there for over an hour, on Sunday, in the heat, listening to some old man sing in Latin. My mind was never there. So, I decided to change things a bit. We even planned on what we'd say if they asked what the sermon was about. Now, I do have to admit, I confessed this to my mother years later and she laughed. My father just gave me the look.
I told all three sisters if they ratted on us, they were out and couldn't come with me. They thought I was cool, and compared to them I was. No one ever asked and no one ever told.
On the way to church was a small old time bakery. Where your father would go to pick up fresh Kaiser rolls for breakfast. It smelled like heaven, all yeasty, and hints of cinnamon,with chocolate. So my plan for Sunday was this. We'd go to the church, stay for a few minutes and leave to go to the bakery and buy huge, warm, chocolate chip cookies. And they had gum drops too! Image
Then we'd stop at a park nearby and swing, slide, or whatever. We laughed and had fun and we loved it. Soon, we stopped stopping at the church at all. I remember it fondly. No one ever knew.  Image
Not any of my sisters ever told anyone. And years later they remember times like that fondly. Which is maybe why they listen to me to this day.That  brings me to the point of this blog. I was afraid for a while that my sister forgot who we are, who she is, what's most important in life. It was a defining moment for us as sisters.  Image
Recently my my Mom passed away. She was 88 and I think after my father died she just gave up on living. One of my sisters decided to take my mother's rings and told me that our Mom had told her she could. I stopped the car I was driving so I didn't kill us. And I looked her in the eye. I told her if she didn't bring the rings back, I would never speak to her again. I asked her which was more important, having things or having a sister. She tried to rationalize it and I rebuked her. I told her to put them back...For many years she has had her hand out to my mother and father, and I was afraid that she was going to pull something. My parents made her life easy and they didn't do her any favors. Now she has to learn how to live on her own, within her means.
Well the good news is that she gave the rings back. And we were able to amicably decide who got my mother's rings in a fair way. She got one of the best ones, fair and square in a draw. And I told her to remember this time always, doing the right thing always turns out right for you. I have always believed in being fair.
She will always be the way she is. Things are all she has and that's sad. I would much rather have people who care about me, then things I can't take with me.For all the things she has collected over the years, she has nothing worth it all. Of importance anyhow. And no one to love her if she doesn't get it soon.
But, she listened to me. She listened just like she did when I told her to trust me as a child. She made the choice to not alienate her family. I hope she never forgets what's more important.
So we all sat together in on my parents back porch and we ate chocolate chip cookies. While we remembered times that defined us and bonded at least for the time we were there. I hope she never forgets her priorities and stays that way. I'm not sure about it.

I wonder how many people out there can relate...

10 comments

  1. Mary Marvella // April 8, 2013 at 4:29 PM  

    Mary r, I can sooo relate! after my parents died I ended up helping my sister in big ways, I ended up taking over for my parents who had to help her a lot. When I ran out of money to help, she had to get by and move from the place I helped her keep up to barely livable to a place for poor older folks. There she met a handyman who took her away and married her. Now I need to ask her to start paying back and it is a hard thing to do. She will do it willingly, but the big sister hates to ask.

  2. Scarlet Pumpernickel // April 8, 2013 at 8:49 PM  

    I can relate to this. My family fell apart after my mother died and sadly, we never recovered. The older I become, the more I realize it is such a shame.

  3. Mary Ricksen // April 9, 2013 at 2:10 PM  

    It's sad, and I really don't get it. It isn't in me to care about things more then people!

  4. Lilly Gayle // April 12, 2013 at 7:37 PM  

    Six years ago, I wouldn't have been able to relate. But things happen and people change. Or maybe they don't change, but something happens that makes us take the blinders off so we see them clearly.

  5. Mackenzie Crowne // April 12, 2013 at 8:38 PM  

    (((((Mary))))) I'm sure the rift wounds your heart, but you can't change people. You can only love them as they are.

    I can't relate to the relationship part, as my siblings and I have only grown closer as we grew older, but I can totally relate to sitting in church on Sunday and yawning through the Latin after attending Catholic school all week. Unfortunately, our parents came along, so we didn't get to ditch. But we always found something to giggle about, like the day our dog came down the center isle looking for us.

  6. Margaret Tanner // April 12, 2013 at 9:23 PM  

    Hi Mary,
    Great blog. I only had one sister who was older than me, and a younger brother. Oh you have brought back memories. I can remember we never used to put the money Mum gave us in the collection box, we would always keep it and buy sweets on the way home from church.

    cheers

    Margaret

  7. Calisa Rhose // April 12, 2013 at 10:08 PM  

    As I've watched my own daughters grow up I can see them in this story. It would be my oldest daughter I think who would be the materialist, though it saddens me to say that. Hard times for her a few years ago have instilled that in her when I never had. My motto for the three of them has always been, and still is, be thankful for what you have, instead of regretful of what you haven't. They are happy, healthy and loved.
    My older, and only, sister and I don't have this to worry about. She has a heart of gold and would give the shirt off her back before taking one from you. I strive to be like her.



    Nice post, Mary.

  8. Maeve Greyson // April 12, 2013 at 10:22 PM  

    I'm glad your sister realized how much more important the sisterly bond was than a bit of jewelry. Wonderful post, Mary. :-)

  9. Beth Trissel // April 13, 2013 at 11:16 AM  

    I enjoyed your post, MR. Sorry about the rift. I hope it heals. I helped raise my younger sister--11 years younger. We are and have always been very close.

  10. P.L. Parker // April 13, 2013 at 12:43 PM  

    Wonderful post, Mary. I have two older sisters and we're close but once in awhile . . . but we never forget family and who we are. Hugs!