Saturday, June 2, 2007

Long Lost Sister

I just finished reading Suffering Summer's post about her nephew and it made me think of my own family dynamics. She talks about how her nephew has changed her life in ways she never knew or expected and how much she loves him. I am saddened to say that I have never met my sister's daughter in person. She is pregnant with baby #2 and is due in September and I really hope to see her this summer. Sis hasn't met my youngest girlie, either.

Sis got married to a man that lives in another state and so after the wedding, and when job transfer came through, she settled with her new hubby in his home. They have been busy making his house their home together and got pregnant not long after the wedding. I was so excited for her and the pregnancy, and it was nice that I was pregnant with baby #3 at the same time she was pregnant with her first. We could compare notes and I enjoyed being the experienced one for a change, me being the youngest and already on my third child. But her baby came prematurely and then I felt helpless and prayed that baby would come through healthy. She did and has grown to be a beautiful little girl.

Sis lived with us for a while when we lived at the old house and she was a great Auntie to my first 2 girlies. Then life happened and we got pulled apart; we moved, she moved... I miss my sister and we talk about every 2 weeks on videophone. It's one of those things you hook up to the TV with a camera that sits on top and you call someones' videophone (VP) and have conversation. It's great for us Deaf people, to sit and sign and the conversations flow much faster than it would to type on a TDD (tele-type device for the Deaf) or via e-mails. The kids come in and say hi to each other and then we shoo the kids away and talk and catch up on news, happenings and life. I hope that when we finally manage to get together again, my niece will recognize me as the "lady" that her mommy talks to on the "TV" and won't shy away from me for too long.

My Sis and I grew up sort of separately, with her going away to Deaf school in the fall and coming home on weekends. We had summers together and I remember them as being filled with adventures of us exploring the creeks and woods, imagining ourselves as pirates or detectives. We found the bones of some animal once, and all sorts of tales sprouted-- hunting for vampires eating poor defenseless animals, or something eerie lurking about and what have you. Or we would play on the couch and pretend we were on an island and there were crocodiles swimming in the carpeted ocean just waiting to snap up an overhanging arm or leg and then we'd flail about crying to be rescued! Sis was always a crafty child and taught herself to crochet and cross stitch and plastic canvas, so when she didn't want to be bothered by her little sister, she would shoo me away while she crocheted a granny square blanket or bury her nose in Nancy Drew mysteries.

During the week, when Sis was away at school, I dutifully went to public school every morning, came home in the afternoons and spent my days with mom and dad. We moved a few times and I found it hard to make friends, so I spent a lot of my time reading books or losing myself in fantasy world. I'd wander around the neighborhood on my bike or hike through the woods and come home in time for dinner. Life then was different, and a kid could be left alone without parents worrying about bad people stealing your child away to do harm. I looked forward to weekends, for the short time when Sis was home and I'd have someone to play with. We'd pick her up on Friday afternoons, stop at the food store and then we'd take her back on Sunday.

Now that we are adults and have families of our own, with Sis there and me here, I find it hard and I miss her. I wish she lived next door and our children could play together, grow up close and I could come over for lunch when our hubbies are away. She is a great partner when we go yard sale-ing and thrift store shopping together and I miss her company. I never dreamed that we would end up living so far away from each other and I know that life will do that sometimes, life will take people and tear them apart and plant them to grow in different places. Sis is living a life I am not familiar with, a town I have never been to, a husband I have known only a short time, a daughter I have never hugged. I don't see our paths crossing any time soon, and I have to satisfy myself with occasional visits and bi-weekly VP conversations.

They say that money can't buy happiness. But money could buy me some plane tickets and then I'd take the family and fly. I'd be happy. Money could buy two houses next door to each other and set up a college fund for each kid and have it so the Hubbies don't need to work. Money could buy Sis a craft shop and me a thrift shop. I'd be happy. I'd be happy to see Sis again, hold my niece, give her a kiss and have her meet her 3 cousins for the first time. I'd be happy.

12 comments:

The Good Woman said...

Please don't be sad. Your relationship with your sister is to be enjoyed and celebrated no matter what form it takes. My sister died when I was ten. I wish she could see her niece - even if it was just on a VP.

Krissie said...

Oh Jenny...
I still share a room with my sister but I already dread the day when "life will happen" to us. I can't imagine not having her around.
That was a wonderful post and I hope you win a lottery!

sufferingsummer said...

thanks, now I'm crying and I already applied make up for the day!
The friendship from childhood you describe is so similar to my brother and I's...except he read The Hardy Boys...and now I'm so close to his wife I feel I've lost a sister and a brother by moving away from them. I agree that money can't buy happiness per say but damn if it couldn't come awfully close!
here's to winning the lottery, if I do, i'll split it with you and we can buy as many plane tickets as possible!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Jenny, I sympathize with you. I live very far away from my family and I miss them. My children see them only once a year so are more like strangers. And we grew up far away from my parents' families. It's hard but at least you have your VP.

lady macleod said...

How wonderful you and your sister have such a relationship, made all the better by your successful efforts to maintain communication. You both have outside interest that make you more facinating and families that love you. Well done.

jenny said...

GW-- I'm sure your sister is watching from up above. I like to think we meet our loved ones again when we pass on. Thanks for your kind words.

K-- Sisters can be a royal pain sometimes, but you just cant beat that sisterly bond. I hope I win a lottery too!! I'd be happy!

SS-- Oh, I didnt mean to give you "raccoon eyes"!! Here's a tissue (digging around in my pocket) Sorry, it's sorta lint-y, but it's clean!
I split the winnings with you too!! Maybe we can buy 100 acres with 10 houses for other family members and we all share the pool, garden, homeschool the little ones....

Coffee-- At least I still have my mom nearby and Hubby has his family too. I marvel at how some families can grow up in the same town forever and the next generation stays and the next... True, VP is very nice and I think it is better than phone (as if I could talk on it anyway) I can see the other person's expressions and sometimes we take the camera and pan across the room to show off a new paint color or something. Thanks for your shared sympathy.

Lady M-- Thanks for your sweet comments. I look forward to hearing from you and hope you had a good weekend with the sheikh!!

sufferingsummer said...

you just described my utopia...

Drunk Mummy said...

My brothers live quite a long way away, so I don't see them very often either. The videophone sounds great - although, I wouldn't want too many people realising how long I stay in my dressing gown at the weekend.

jenny said...

DM-- that's the downfall of VP-ing.. I have to run to the mirror to make sure I am presentable and I dont have wild woman hair or one of my skimpy tanks that showcase my nipples! LOL

DJ Kirkby said...

Hi, I loved this post. Very evocative. I live too far from my huge family (over 30 hours travelling time from my door to my mother's). We love to be with each other and celebrate any aspect of life together with copious amounts of food and laughter, of course.

DJ Kirkby said...

Hi Jenny, I know you enjoyed the first posting of 'Adventures of a wild hippie child'. Please do me a favour and go to http://wildhippiechild.blogspot.com/ , have a read and let me know whether this series has any 'legs'. The stories are too personal and I can't assess the idea (or my writing about it), objectivly.

Elsie Button said...

this is such a lovely post. i was almost in tears though. but you are lucky to have such a good relationship with your sister, and just think about the day when you do all get together again - because it WILL happen...