I heard through the Email grapevine that yesterday maybe? was "Sibling Day" - a day to honor those first friends we have in life, our brothers and sisters. I have been blessed greatly, with 4 brothers and a sister, and my spot in this lineup is # 4 from the top, the first girl. All of my siblings are absolutely fantastic people-I feel like I'm "waxing", but let me tell you, I have a lot to wax about. Two brothers live close, a sister and a brother live a thousand miles away, and another brother lives south of here about 350 miles but we have maintained fairly close contact since our parents passed away many years ago. I also have 4 more "sisters" and 1 more "brother" in the form of inlaws, who decided to marry into this family - and I count them as dear friends.
What makes sibling relationships special are the memories and the stories, and the knowledge of where and how a birth family originated, however, every person in a family brings a unique perspective of life, even when experiences are shared. My three oldest brothers and us three younger siblings were raised by the same parents, but when my oldest brother was 20, my youngest brother was born, so there was a big span of time in there resulting in kids being raised by different, albeit the same, parents.
I know my 5 siblings well, at least I think I do. There isn't a one of them who wouldn't do what they could to help another sibling out, which is one of the many outstanding qualities of this family. Siblings have replaced my bathroom floor, crawled under my house, sent financial help to those in need, shared summer veggies from the gardens, rescued stranded travelers, been fun and accommodating hosts, laughed and cried together, and extended forgiveness and love when understanding is needed. We're not perfect people, but we "do" family.
Every year we have a reunion where we catch up for a few days. Sometimes I have great conversations with siblings I don't see often, other times, we just enjoy being together or playing games.
My kids have been watching this model of family all their lives. I want them to understand how it works, and I want to pass these values on to them. It's a fuzzy picture of the future to come, when we're finally all together with our brothers and sisters in God's kingdom - and we are truly "living happily ever after". Thank you, Max, Dennis, Jay, Linda, and Kevin for what you mean to me. I don't tell you often enough, but I love you - you're the best!