I realize I have given undue pages and preference to the brothers in my family, both in my BWCA memoir and in this blog, especially in light of what's been going on with Rob lately. I don't want to short shrift the other third of the family, namely my two sisters Pat and Jane. I also had a sister I never knew who died at age 5. I often wonder how any or all of our personalities would be different if she had lived to adulthood.
I love my sisters as much as my brothers, that much is true. They both started their families at quite a young age. Us boys all started much later, so our kid's are almost like two different generations. I'm not saying that is a bad thing, it's just how it worked out. Pat and Jane's kids grew up with one another, and my own kids and the other three brothers' kids have grown up together too. In that sense, we have seen and done more with them than the sisters.
It is in these emotionally difficult times that I've come to appreciate the sisters on a new level. My sister Pat has made very expensive trips out from California to see Rob. Jane's love for him runs so deep that she can hardly talk about the whole deal, at all. I see that and I recognize it. As a friend of mine said, everyone grieves differently, so you need to respect that. All I know is it's great to have sisters to hug when you're working through all the crap that makes up a cancer journey.
I have some great childhood memories of my sisters. Both of them were notorious for throwing high school parties when my mom was out of town, and I, being the goody, goody always threatened to tell mom. I was such a nerd. I don't ever recall actually telling on them, but somehow Mom always found out about it anyways.
Pat was always the dictator around the house. I remember her throwing our winter coats and boots down the basement steps in an attempt to clear the refuse before Mom got home. She was a relentless and frightening matriarch, and I'm glad to say we all lived through it.
Jane was always the emotional, dramatic one of the house. Her moods could change like the weather, and Lord help you if you crossed her. She was known to throw shoes, phones, and whatever she could reach in an attempt to make a statement. It certainly got our attention.
I don't mean to paint a bad picture of either of them. They were both doing the best they could in a situation where they were essentially in charge of mothering 3 of us (Me, Rob and Paul) during the hours that Mom was at work. They did a great job, as none of us turned out to be ax murderers. We all get along with our sisters, no black sheep in the whole family, so something must have been done right somewhere along the line.
So that's what I wanted to say. I wanted to say that I have sisters who would give the world for me and I know it. They always speak good of me, despite the fact that I'm miles away from both of them. We are family. I got both my sisters and me.
And that is a great thing.