Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sibling Saturday: The Ties That Bind

I checked out the most recent daily blogging prompts from GeneaBloggers and found some new ones to work with. I was particularly excited about Sibling Saturday and noted the relevance of it for what’s going on in my life right now.

I am visiting my sister in Michigan to help with family events going on right now. For one, my great-nephew (my sister’s grandson) just welcomed his new baby brother into the world on Tuesday. He is enamored with him and doesn’t want to go anywhere without "his baby." His parents are very happy that this five-year-old is so taken with his new sibling and shows no jealousy at all. (I say props to the parents for doing a nice job of being mindful in the raising of their children).

Last year, my sister had my mother and my brother move in her to help care for them. My mother had a stroke some 20+ years ago. She successfully lived on her own for a number of years, but her strength no longer allows her to live without assistance. My brother has Down’s Syndrome and also cannot live alone. My niece commented that while I am visiting, my mother has all of her children under one roof. I am so glad this works.

I am the product of a second marriage for both my parents and my youngest brother Bryant (the one with Down’s Syndrome) is my only full sibling. I have one half-sister from my mother (with whom I am staying with) and a half-sister and half-brother from my father. I spent the majority of time growing up with my youngest brother, but at various times, my other siblings were around. My mother’s first daughter is thirteen years older than I am and left home to be married when I was five. My father’s first children were raised by their mother for the most part, although they stayed with us from time to time.

While going through old photos here at my sister’s, I found a rare one of me and both of my brothers as we’re waiting for the school bus.  

Our siblings. They resemble us just enough to make all their differences confusing, and no matter what we choose to make of this, we are cast in relation to them our whole lives long.
--Susan Scarf Merrell

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