We thought we were the good children in our families. The good sisters. Turns out we were a tad bit mean.
I had a wonderful visit with a couple of girlfriends with whom I grew up with on Bonnie Brook Lane. They are sisters, traveling together, and they stopped by my place for the night. I haven’t seen the younger sister, Julie, since I was 16 and she was 14. Um…I’ll do the math for you. That was back in 1977.
Chris is one of my dearest friends. We have not lost a single step in our friendship even though there are years and years between visits. She’ll forever be one of my most favorite people. Chris has a nurturing and loving spirit. And she truly loves God.
We were reflecting upon our young years the other night. She mentioned something about herself that was exactly how I have been feeling about my own self. We both thought that we were the good sister in our families.
I didn’t realize how mean I was until I started going through some of my old diaries from when I was in my teens. Wow…I was upset with my sister a lot. For someone who believed they were the good one there were an awful lot of bad things written on paper. Colorful words, dark words, lots of large scribbled adjectives…obviously written in anger. Words that I would have never uttered out loud. I was a writer of sorts way back then. I’m not particularly proud of that though.
My heart sank when I read them.
As I reflect on those days, I realize that not only was I was angry, I was hurting. Hurt that my sister had something that I did not. My dad’s heart. Not that he didn’t love me. He did in his own way, I guess. I was just so very different from him. He couldn’t love me the same. And their relationship was very hard to watch as a young, impressionable little girl. I took it out on her.
Still, at the time, I thought I was the good sister.
When Chris shared her reflection of her early years as an older sister, I realized how distorted our views can become by things we want to believe. Although, I never looked at Chris as being mean, ever, she believes she was. And only she knows that truth. At the time, while living in that time, she believed she was good. Just as I thought I was good. Looking back is sometimes hard.
But, if you can look back and see truth, that speaks volumes. It means that there has been growth. Growth is good. Reflection is good. Asking for forgiveness makes it even better.
I was mean to my sister in subtle ways. I did little things to get back at her. I don’t need to go into detail because it doesn’t matter. What does matter is my acknowledgment that I was wrong. Regardless of the hurt I was feeling, I should have, could have, been a better sister. I know Chris feels the same about her early relationship with Julie.
Life is just full of surprises. With age, you realize that all the more. We need to be ever-present in the now and be ever-mindful of how we act and react. Today, Chris and I both are the good sisters we thought we once were. That’s the positive of this story.
I had a wonderful visit with my friends. Getting to know Julie on an adult level was both enlightening and a blessing.
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