Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero. ~Marc Brown

After having two kids, somehow I formed an automated response to the much-asked question..."Are you done?" And the answer was something like this: "If it were just for me, I'd be done. BUT...I feel like there's something siblings have to offer each other that I just can't, so I'm going to keep going." To be honest, I almost looked at it as a gift I was giving them. The opportunity of built-in support, advice, love, and friendship.

Thursday afternoon, Dallin came running to the door- screaming- with blood dripping from his face. His brother was right on his heels. We brought him in and doctored him up. Porter sat quietly by his side the whole while, observing but not willing to leave. After all was said and done and they were both still just sitting, I was looking at this the scene from a different room. In real time- right then and there, not later in reflection- I was in awe of the bond these two boys share. In awe, because although it's something we can encourage, it's not something Yosh and I can give to them or force on them. It is their relationship to decide what to do with. A transparent moment showed thus far they've decided to develop, nurture, and protect it.

Throughout the last few years, my mom has made trips to NM on a more than regular basis to check in on her little sister. The last six weeks, she just stayed. Despite the sadness and heaviness of the situation, there was no other place my mom was willing to be. The young summers of driving a million  miles to visit each other, the thousands of phone calls, the hours of chit-chatting....it was all coming to an end. AJ's life paused to solidify the depth of this relationship. The uniqueness was reciprocated as Gretchen was surrounded my many who loved and cared for her, but for the more personal care-taking, she was only willing to let my mom be the care-taker. The end truly represented the culmination of what they had become to each other.

My sweet grandma sat at the rosary in Gretchen's honor, graciously accepting the comfort so many were trying to offer. As Uncle Kip would say in the eulogy...."No parent should have to bury their daughter." And she felt the weight of this unfortunate circumstance, even at 90 years old, loathing the loss. In the side door, located right by where she was sitting, her sister unexpectedly came walking in. As Alby caught sight of her, her raw reaction- back all of a sudden straight, dropped jaw, eyes big- confirmed that real comfort had arrived. As she sat down right next to Alby, and their heads naturally tilted in until they touched, and their hands locked, Alby was now truly able to let someone else share her burden.

"Is solace anywhere more comforting than in the arms of a sister?" ~Alice Walker

Those words I've said so many times- how siblings have something only they can offer each other- were spoken with an innocent shallowness. This week has shed some of that innocence and carved depth in that theory.

We need each other. 


  1. I love it, your blogs are the best. They usually make me laugh, but this one really touched me. I have a deep bond with my brothers and sisters and I feel like it's something that not even a good friend can replace. It's a different and unique relationship. Today Lucy was sick today and I was in the bath crying for her binky (We usually just let her have it at bedtime)but Molly (15 months old) stood there and realized what her sister needed. She went away and came back and handed Lucy her binky. It was a sweet, thoughtful little guesture from a litter sister, so I let Lucy keep it. Those are the moments in parenthood that you just stand back and take in. :)

  2. That's what kept sending me over the edge at the funeral. My thoughts kept wandering to "What if I were AJ and I had to bury my best friend/sister?" I'm tearing up still. The hurt is real in me now at just the thought, I can't imagine how AJ must be hurting.

  3. Thanks Gay for sharing the love. I love watching my kids develop their relationship with each other. I love your sweet mom, I'll send some love her way.

  4. Quote and insanely cute pic of the boys alone is amazing. And add your words!!!! This was great Gay and has me wishing we hadn't fixed thing so permanetly for more siblings......ahhhh!


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