“I, who have no sisters or brothers, look with some degree of innocent envy on those who may be said to be born to friends.” — James Boswell
I grew up in a house with two older sisters. Well, that’s partly true. Given our age differences, I guess I grew up about halfway in a house with two older sisters. They flew the coop before I hit the grand old age of eleven.
Both were so good to me. I remember sitting on Sandy’s lap and reading my first little book, which totally freaked her out because no one had taught me to read. (“Mom!!! Al read a book!!!”). I remember riding in Jacki’s yellow Volkswagen Beetle and getting to shift gears on our way to the nursing home to visit Miss Martha and Miss Jessie. The words “sibling rivalry” meant and mean nothing to me from personal experience. All I have ever known are sisters who love me. As Boswell jealously observed, I was born to friends.
Sandy and most of her family came to visit this week, and it has been great fun to have them here. It almost surprised me to notice how much I looked forward to their visit. It is always great to have people we love come visit, but there must be something extra special about those words brother and sister, at least in our case.
Our parents have been gone for years now, leaving the three of us at the top of separate family trees with both sisters now at the grandmother stage. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what happened with time, but I think a quote attributed to Clara Ortega says it best: “To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.”
That’s it: We live outside the touch of time. We don’t spend much time together anymore, and as special as it is when we do, time does nothing to or for the relationship. Our relationship is inviolate.