I have no business writing this. But I did it anyway.

“Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible.”  – Dalai Lama

Top: Mom, Dad, Margaret. Bottom: Rock, Ri, Eva

Y’know, sometimes the calendar is a real pain in the ass. Because when you’ve lived long enough…there are inevitably dates that trigger memories and feelings, and dude – you may not WANT to have those feelings on that particular day this year, know what I mean?

I’ve had lots of time to accumulate lots of those days, since I’m older than dirt.  I talk about some of them here – like, my anniversary for instance. That’s a good one. :)  I think I told you about missing my Mom on Mother’s Day.  And of course, you all know about my brother Rock.  It seems like every time I turn around, there’s a day that reminds me about Rock.

(Well, to clarify – I think about him and Mom EVERY day, but I’m talking official days here.)

Like, I just mentioned him on Memorial Day because, well – he died in the service of our country.  And in August, it’ll be ten years since he passed away.  And today…June 17, 2010, would have been his 49th birthday.  See what I mean?  Bam, bam, bam – three in a row.  Sheese.  And…if I think I have it rough, I can only imagine how my niece, nephew and sister in law feel.

But, this post is not about Rock, and I absolutely am not writing it to elicit sympathetic comments.  Y’all have been wonderfully supportive with those, and I appreciate the love, but no – that’s not why I’m writing this today.

Nope – today I’m writing FOR YOU.  Yep, I’m getting up on my soap box or high horse or whatever you want to call it to talk about your siblings who are still alive.  And, I know it’s none of my business, and I know every situation is different, and I know that some of you are going to wonder where the hell I get off even mentioning this, but that has never stopped me before, so I’m going with my gut here.

As we grow up and live our lives, move away from home, have kids, build careers, blah, blah, blah…how much time do we really leave for our siblings?  I know that some folks are lucky to have a very close relationship with all their family, and that’s a good thing.  I talked to my sister Eva three times yesterday and twice today.

I also know that some family members have burned every bridge ever built for them and that even the mention of them makes the hair stand up on the back of some folks’ necks.  I really do know this – I have one of those sisters, too.  Haven’t seen or talked to her in years.  So, this post is every bit as introspective as it is presumptuous – I totally get it, from both sides.

But still, on days like this…these calendar days that grab me by the heart and slam me around the room regardless of my to-do list or whether or not I have time to sit and cry like I may want to, I always get this overwhelming feeling that I need to check and see if my priorities are in order.  While I’m missing Rock and wishing I still had my big brother, am I telling the family members that are HERE how much I love them?  Am I putting aside pettiness and pride and giving hugs and laughs and support with wild abandon?

Um, nope.  I’m not.  And I’m not going to lie to you – I will not be tracking my older sister Margaret down to tell her I love her, even though HER birthday was yesterday.  I get that family dynamics are tough and complicated and sometimes deeper than the human heart can understand and deal with.  But at least for today, I’ll think about her.  I’ll wish her well and say a prayer that if we can’t all be together, at least we can all have peace about it.

Because I know life is short.  I know that I’m weak and prideful and stubborn, but I also know that my siblings are likely the only people in the world who understand WHY I’m the way I am.  No other relationship is quite the same as the bond of two (or in our case four) people who grew up together.  (Not saying that bond is always good OR bad – just unique.)

Annnnd, now that I’m all weepy I honestly cannot remember what my point was with this post.  I think, though, it has something to do with that Dalai Lama quote I put in the beginning.  Be kind to your siblings today.  Hug them if you can; call them, text them, laugh with them and tell them you love them.

If that’s not possible…if you have a Margaret in your family who’s lost, or God forbid, a Rock in your family who’s gone, then be kind to yourself.  Get through those calendar days the best you can, and know that we’ve all got them.  If today’s not one of yours, then it may be someone else’s.

And, kindness helps.  Just sayin’…:)


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16 Responses to I have no business writing this. But I did it anyway.
  1. DP_Turtle
    June 17, 2010 | 4:53 pm

    Funny thing … before I saw your post, I sent an email wishing Happy Birthday to one of my brothers. He currently isn’t speaking to me (or barely is, I guess) because … well, I don’t really know “because.” But today is his birthday. He is 10 years older than I, and he’s my closest sibling in age (others are 14 and 16 years old. Can you say “Oops!”?)

    Because of that nice round difference of 10 years, I frequently look at him and think “that’s me in 10 years.” Frankly, I hope it’s not. I don’t want to be bitter about something that other people can’t even identify.

    But I totally get what you mean. I’m thinking of him and wishing him well. He may not be thinking of me, and he may not even welcome the note I sent earlier today, but that’s okay.

    Life is too, too short. Don’t be a hater.

    • Ri, the MSM
      June 17, 2010 | 9:38 pm

      Turtle! I had no idea you read my blog! Sheese, I’m gonna have to up the ’70’s AM Gold in the playlists now. 😉

      (And you could probably tell that I was a total whoops too, from the photo – the sibs are 6, 8 and 10 years older…)
      Ri, the MSM´s last blog post ..I have no business writing this. But I did it anyway.

  2. ThePeachy1
    June 17, 2010 | 6:02 pm

    There is a lot of bad water under the bridges with my siblings. Oddly enough I was just at my moms and told her all the things she didn’t know happened when she was in a coma all those months. 6 years ago. I have swallowed my anger with them and put forth an olive branch time and time again. I feel it is their own guilt for their actions which keeps them from reaching back. However I am quite proud that all my nieces and nephews communicate with me daily. I share happy growing up stories with my kids so they wont harbor bad feelings about relatives. This life is far too short to go around carrying a grudge. It’s not my style.

  3. Mari
    June 17, 2010 | 7:29 pm

    Thanks, Ri. I’ve been walking around with a big wad of tears right behind my eyes but didn’t really understand why. I mean I know what my problem is, I’m dealing with the perfect storm in my life right now, but still; it’s just the same as every day.
    I keep a piece of 12×12 paper on my fridge, where I paste quotes, fortunes, etc., and my son has been coming up to me, quoting one of them, by Robert Frost … it says “In 3 words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
    And I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life in 5 words: “it’s too short for bullshit.”
    XO

  4. Melisa with one s
    June 17, 2010 | 9:49 pm

    Great post, and great reminder that you just never know when your time is up. I am fortunate to have zero family drama, and count my blessings for that all the time.

    Sending you HUGS, Missy!
    Melisa with one s´s last blog post ..Teenaged Boys Often Smell Good! (Really!)

  5. Dawn
    June 18, 2010 | 1:07 am

    I sent your post to my siblings. My brother wrote me back:
    “Dawn,
    Very touching –love you long time.
    DD”

    It made me laugh out loud. :)

    xo

  6. Aspiring
    June 21, 2010 | 6:52 pm

    Beautiful Ri. Touching and Im crying. That is what pouring your heart out to strangers can do to them. You are a wonderful writer and spirit and I know, you admit you are stubborn and prideful, I hope you will consider getting in touch with Margaret, even if you need a PI to do it. Even if its just to know that she’s alive and well and you know where she is and dont have to wonder if there’s a roof over her head and she’s safe and warm. I don’t have a Margaret but I do have 2 sisters that have refused to speak to each other for the last 7 years. One refuses to also speak to my dad. Im the only one that talks to everyone and I can tell you its draining as hell. Its blown our family apart and I get tired of having to compartmentalize. Everyone has a story I guess, but I’d like you to know that by posting your intimate deets, It makes me feel a little less alone. Your sibs have your DNA. They share similarities of your soul too, so I imagine it must be quite hard not to know where Margaret is. I’ll end there… sort of not knowing how to finish. <3

  7. Margaret
    November 24, 2010 | 11:28 am

    Enjoyed reading your thoughts and appreciated the love! Your wit is super quick, sharp, and very entertaining! I liked the olives and martinis analogy. :) I have thought of all of you (maybe not EVERY DAY – somedays in a drug or dunken stupor its hard to think) but most days and Especially on birthdays ( feb 17, april 13, june 17, august 14 and september 22) and holidays. Those days are especially tough – in the past medication (drugs or drink) have dulled the pain, but maybe since i don’t do those anymore, instead of eating, i’ll try self expression instead. There is a lot stuffed down deep that needs to get out – not to anyone in particular, just to me – to deal with! Love you little sister, and hope you and your family have a wonderful thanksgiving. Thanks so much for caring in spite of everything! where can i find more pictures? i’m new at this.

  8. Tamie
    March 13, 2011 | 7:33 pm

    Well cousin after our conversation today and reading this, it looks like we both have put aside some of the bad family “stuff” to recognize how precious family really is. I love your writings and I think you have an incredible gift of word, please continue to write. I believe writing (journaling) whatever you want to call it cleanses the soul. Helps us heal from hurt by bringing it to the surface. We all have family dynamics that are less than desirable, but we love them despite themselves.

    Thank you for your honesty, and your ability to touch those who read your words. I feel blessed to share family blood with you. I am looking forward to years of sharing “life” with you.

    Much love,

    Your Cousin

  9. Tommy
    April 9, 2011 | 10:50 am

    xiaxqz Glad I’ve finally found something I agree with!

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