Growing up, I had one sibling, a brother. We don’t speak. He was, and still is, a mama’s boy. That, in and of itself isn’t exactly a problem. But when you are the girl child of the aforementioned mother — the beaten, abused, neglected, unwanted child — and your sibling not only witnessed all of that, but helped engineer some of it once he was older, it’s a problem. It’s enough to contend with abuse at the hands of a parent, let alone endure more at the hands of a sibling.
As an adult, I’ve been lucky enough to find brothers and sisters, family, who behave how family should. I’ve been given the chance to have some of what I was denied as a child, at a time I can appreciate it more.
All of my sisters are strong, phenomenal women, each in very different ways. I’ve never had an easy time being close with other women, so to be a part of this sisterhood with all of these women, even though it started almost 15 years ago, still seems new to me, and miraculous.
There’s one sister in particular that I am very close to, and who I have more respect for than most people on this planet. She’s an amazing person, and I think she forgets that, a lot.
Today, I’m writing an open letter to her. And if no one has told you today how absolutely amazing you are, take the parts you need from this, and know it is for you as well.
We all have titles in this life, whether we want them or not, and you, dear sister, have many. The sheer number of times you must change your hat during a day is mind-numbing, to me.
Honestly, I don’t know if you’re even aware of the shifts any longer, you’ve so seamlessly made them for so long. From self, to wife, to mother, to teacher, to sister, to friend, to caregiver, to runner, to coach. I’m sure I’m missing a few titles, you do so much for everyone around you, it’s hard to keep up.
But you do. Keep up that is. Everyone slips, no one is perfect. I know you have your days, just like the rest of us mere mortals, and it bothers you when you do. But you’re not Wonder Woman, though sometimes I think you may be. It’s okay to be early to grab a child from school, because the schedule changed. There’s nothing wrong with expecting a foot massage after a hard workout. One of the cutest things I’ve ever seen is one of my nephews, your son, using the rolling pin to massage your legs.
One of the things that amazes me about you the most is not how much you do in a day’s time (which is almost unfathomable to me), but how you do it with grace and tact. Being the mother of six, and caregiver and teacher of more, must have taught you more patience than I’ll ever understand.
Except for that one time you punched the lady for touching the baby. Wait, wasn’t there another time as well? Let’s not forget the tomato incident. :) Hell, there have probably been more times than that when you wanted to punch someone, and refrained. Growth is great, isn’t it?
Daily, you wake up hours before the rest of your household in order to have time for yourself, but also to make sure your house runs as smoothly as possible once the Bear and cubs awaken. The fact that you’ve remained married to my brother from another mother for four years now, together for eight or so, is a lesson in patience by itself!
Anyone who says being a SAHM is easy has obviously never met you. I’ve never met anyone who works so hard, for hugs and kisses. The fact that you do all you do, and just completed a 50 mile trail run, kind of makes me want to choke you. I jest, you’re my inspiration, for so many things.
None of us get things perfect in this life. If we did, we’d be bored as hell. Life is never boring with you around, my dear sister. I’ll never be able to hear “Going Down for Real” without giggling, among other songs. I look at you, my nieces and nephews, and my brother and I see happiness. I see and feel home.
You’re strong, physically and mentally. You’re stubborn. You’re absolutely gorgeous. You’re a warrior.
I may not say it daily, or even often enough, but you’re a bad ass. If I ever grow up, I wanna be just like you.
I love you.