Seasons of Siblings
I love my brothers and sisters they are a fun quirky group of people who are all different yet accepting of our diversity.
My oldest brother Jay has magical powers, or so he says, he has an opinion about everything. Jan is super nurse and Miss Congeniality, everywhere she goes fun follows, she would be the person I would most want in a room if I ever had a heart attack, she not only would save my life but would keep the room calm and entertained while doing it. Michael was at the front of the brains line when God was serving them and stayed there for extra helpings, he has more degrees then a hot Texas day, and ambition and confidence that helped him climb Kilimanjaro and write some of the best novels to ever go into print. Mary is the family beauty queen, but she is more then just a pretty face, she once held off a rattlesnake with a walking stick to protect her children. She is fiercely loyal and a source of positive energy to all around her no matter how dreary things seem.
With that sadly even though we all live in Texas we rarely see one another, there are no disconnects nor family drama, we are just 5 busy people with separate lives.
But there is a magical connection that siblings have. It’s almost like the bat signal, the commissioner doesn’t have to say anything, he just sends up the signal and batman comes to the rescue. Last December that signal was sent out after my mother had a stroke. I was fortunate to be nearby and was in the room with her the last moments that she had the ability to speak, she held my hand and naming each of her children, grandchildren and siblings by name she told me how much she loved them and how they had filled her life with joy. Those were probably some of the most overwhelmingly emotional moments in my life. Being there with my mom before they intubated her, knowing that she was entrusting me with such precious information, that she would never be able to communicate herself again to the family that she loved was a huge privilege.
For the 10 days between my mothers stroke and her death our family gathered around her to try and give back some of the joy to her she had given us as we grew up. Each of us did what we did best, Michael organized things and kept lines of communication open with family members, Mary made sure my mother looked beautiful even in her hospital gown Mary put a new scarf on her daily and never let anyone in the room unless my mom had lipstick on. Jan spoke to the doctors and nurses and translated when needed, we all sang to her, made sure that every work spoken in her presence was positive. And on her last night with us we all knelt around her bed and thanked her for being our mother and let her know it was okay to go, knowing that her sisters and parents who had died before her were probably there in the room holding their hands out waiting to take her home.
Because of the way she lived and the way she raised us, her funeral was a beautiful celebration of her life and the lives of those people she touched. Her sisters carried gifts to the altar that symbolized who she was, Her grandchildren sang, played guitar and flute and carried her casket out of the church. I stood between my siblings thinking this is what every mother wants, her family together supporting one another sharing their talents to bring joy to others.
The Book of Ecclesiastics (and The Byrds) remind us “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
I know this is the season in our lives that we have moved on to our own families, jobs and commitments that are the responsibilities of being adults. But I will always be thankful that no matter what season, I will forever have my quirky yet amazing siblings who will forever be the foundation on which everything in my life is built, and makes me the person I am today.