Anyone who really knows me well knows the ups and downs that I’ve had over the last (almost six!) years helping my mom to raise my sister. At the age of 17, I got launched into motherhood without actually being a mom. It’s been nothing if not a learning experience.
During this time I’ve run the gamut of emotion about the whole situation. I love my mom more than anything or anyone in the world. I always have. Ever since my first day of life. Poor mom was dazed in recovery from surgery and the nurses had to bring her down to the NICU because I wouldn’t stop screaming (for two straight days) until she held my hand. It’s a connection that I can only describe as implanted by God. In my 23 years of life, we’ve been through more than I can ever detail here, and it has been my commitment to her that has driven my commitment to my sister.
My sister, God bless her, is totally different from me. Looks, personality, energy level, attitude, everything. The only way we could be more opposite is if she was a boy. She doesn’t make any sense to me. Her thought patterns and motivations are totally different from my own, which makes things like discipline, training, teaching and playtime frustrating a lot of the time. I don’t understand her the way my mom does, because the two of them have a lot in common when it comes to core personality.
But despite the difficulties, I love my sister. She hits a lot of nerves with me. The first day of my first job I was running behind schedule and really nervous. I loaded her in the truck and was being really abrupt and short with her. Then I realized that it wasn’t her fault, so I apologized and told her I was just worried that my new boss would think bad things about me if I was late. Her sweet little 3 1/2 year old self said, “That’s okay, Sissy. If they think bad things about you, I will think good things about you.” *sniff, tear*
This year I’ve been feeling really burnt out with everything. School, work, interning, realtionships, church, household, sister. I started to get really overwhelmed with my life. Of course there was a part of me that thought, “If I didn’t have to take care of her then my life would be easier.” Sure it would. But then where would my mom be? Where would my sister be? If anyone is in shape to handle a heavy load right now it’s me. Even with a busy schedule I have a pretty good life. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that.
But recently our living situation has changed and now I mostly see my sister on car rides to and from school which has totally changed the dynamic of our relationship. She doesn’t get on my nerves so much for one thing, but also she seems more precious to me. I don’t know if it’s just that I have more space now, or if we’re both behaving better around eachother because our time is more limited. Maybe it’s God answering my prayers to help me become the sister I should be to her.
Whatever it is, I’m glad that things are changing, that I want to be close to her rather than away from her, to make her happy instead of keep her occupied. I’m glad that my heart has changed and that that change is benefitting her.
I don’t think I have a moral of the story today, but I do have a theme: Love. Love the people who need you, because when you do, you realize just how much you need them.