Friday, February 3, 2012

Sisters

Kiirstin and Tamara, Christmas of...2001 or 2002, I think?

Today's prompt:  Do you have any siblings? What are they like?

I wonder when the prompts will stop feeling like loaded questions.  These should be simple questions, right?  Do I have any siblings?  Yes.

I have one sister who is...undeniable?  "Real" sister?  (My other sister is no less real.  I swear I didn't make her up!)  "Full" sister?  (As opposed to half, I guess?) Nonetheless, we're related by blood and have the same biological mother and father.  Her name is Tamara.  If you want to get a sense of what she's like in her own words, you should grab some tissues and go read her blog .  She is quietly strong, smart, an incredible writer.  She's an awesome mom, and an astounding juggler of the work-life balance (as if that balance actually exists?).  We have never been particularly close, but there is a bond in having known and lived with Mom and having dealt so directly with the aftermath of her death.  Tamara and I are very different people, and we were also living different places and calling home different places through my high school years (which were her college years).  We dealt with our grief in different ways and on different timelines; which really was to be expected, because I think we deal with everything in differing ways.  Motherhood has brought us closer.  Our lives are quite different, so it has been very cool to see how much common ground there really is.  We make choices that might seem at odds because our options/lives/resources are different but, ultimately, we seem to have very similar goals and very similar concerns for our children and families.  Tamara is about three years older than me.

Usually I say that I have one or two sisters, depending on the context of the question.  The second being Kiirstin, my "younger sister" who is a whopping 11 months my junior.  Kiirstin, Tamara, and I grew up together (as sisters usually do!).  When Tamara and I moved to Texas (with our still-married parents), Kiirstin and her parents lived right around the corner from us.  There are oodles of pictures of the two families together.  Tamara tells some lovely stories here and here.  Before we became sisters, I was always jealous of Kiirstin.  She was well-liked, beautiful, funny, and had happily-married parents.  I was none of those things.  After Mom died, we moved in with Kiirstin and her parents, Art and Sarah.  Kiirstin's generosity of spirit - the fact that she welcomed two girls into her home as sisters when she was almost 13, and has never waivered or acted like that was a sacrifice - is rare and precious.  Tamara wrote more about Kiirstin here.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments here or on Facebook.  My family background is pretty complicated - those years after Mom died were tumultuous and I'm still making sense of them.  It is likely I have left out some piece of information that holds it all together.

Ok, prompts...when are we going to get to the things that are so much simpler to talk about, like how cute my kids are?
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