Grateful sister, part 4

“Do you have a sibling who you just click with? Someone that you have always been comfortable to say anything to and know that deep down, they’ve got your back and will love you no matter what? I’m very blessed because I have 4 of them! It’s because of them that I imagined having 4 kids when I grew up. Then I started having kids and realized how fricken hard it was to be a mom- the sleep deprivation, the lack of personal time and space, and all of the emotions, don’t get me wrong… I ABSOLUTELY love my kids, but two is plenty for me.) Each of my siblings have their faults (who doesn’t- I know I’m not up for the “Perfect Sister Award”- is that a real thing?) but their beautiful qualities outshine them by far. In the next few weeks, I’m going to tell you about how lucky I am to be their sister. “

The previous three weeks, I wrote about my brothers Sam and Christian, then my sister Sheila. This week, I am going to tell you about my sister Stephani. When I was young, I definitely had a lot of love for her, but we weren’t super close and I could tell she had a hard time feeling accepted in our family for some reason. It seemed like she was kind of in and out of the family home when I was little. I feel like a lot of the time she was either with friends or when she didn’t live with us, she was with her mom. She actually now reminds me a lot of my daughter -very smart, strong, determined, outspoken and rebellious and also sensitive and loving and passionate. These are all things that make me so proud to be her mom despite the difficult times. I definitely parent differently than my parents did and I feel bad when I lose it and how hurt she looks, so I can’t imagine how that would have felt for my sister Stephani as a kid, knowing what I do now about different parenting methods and the trauma that it can cause. I know she felt like an outsider in our family, and for that, I am sorry. I was such a shy kid and I wish I would have reached out more to her when I was younger by making her feel more welcome then.

After my parents’ divorce, I didn’t really see her much. Shortly after she graduated high school she moved away and only for a few months one summer she lived in the same city as I did. It was really nice seeing her, but I could tell she still struggled with where she fit in the world. I remember when I lived in Oregon and she decided that she wanted to buy my old Honda Civic for her son we met up for the exchange. When we went to breakfast one morning she was talking about how she was interested in women. She never really seemed happy in the relationships that she’d had with the men she was with whom I met so it seemed realistic that she wasn’t really into guys as much as we all thought. In 2009, my sister went back to school for computer science and math (told you she was smart). It didn’t seem to take much longer before it appeared that she really found herself. Before she seemed very angry or had hurt feelings and now she was glowing from her happiness. I’m not sure if it was the meeting of her now wife, or if it was because she came out and knew her true self and wasn’t afraid to speak it. Almost four years ago, I had the honor of seeing two beautiful brides promise their lives to each other. More recently our bond has increased although we live far from each other. I love talking with my sister about all of our commonalities, which seem to be quite a lot now. She’s one of the few people who really show my kids respect. I’m so glad that my sister is happy and that she is in a place where she is showing love and gratitude for herself. Soon she will be off to new adventures as a Canadian and I hope to visit her in her new home soon. Love you Steph! 

My favorite memories of Stephani

1. Chatting at night before falling asleep at my dad’s farm house when I was little
2. Her taking me to Dracula when I was younger
3. Marrying her wife
4. Watching her interact with my kids
5. Going camping with her and her son when he was probably 3
6. Murdering Barney (our brothers stuffed animal

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