Not only am I the youngest of four, but I am the only daughter. While I wouldn't quite call my birth an oops, there's over five years in age difference between me and the youngest of the three boys. The three boys in 4 years boys, mind you. Yes, then me. Just simply assessing the birth order and gender facts of my family one may easily conclude, I was never much of a girly girl. Digest this information as you wish, but I find it's essential to where I am headed with this story.
Then in 1994, the baby girl of the family picked up and moved 1,800 miles away.
Fast forward two decades later, Josh and I have our own family. We've been graced with two daughters, two girls that spend their summer days crafting, playing together, braiding each other's hair, and even currently slumbering by choice in the same bedroom at night (it's fleeting I know, but let me have my moment). Of course there's much admiration from my youngest towards her big sister and the natural inclination for my oldest to pull away, but at the end of the day their bond is beautifully sister strong.
And at the end of my day, this very day in particular, I am weeping that I am indeed sisterless. A fact which was thrust upon me from day one, from a childhood clearly marked with baseball parks and muscle cars parked in the driveway. Through my almost four decades of living and growing into my self, this revelation is nothing new. I've always believed that I have surrounded myself with wonderful women, nurturing loving friendships, friends that were like sisters to me. But are they really like having a sister? No they aren't and the deepest nature of my heart makes me painfully aware of that reality.
I may mourn my sisterless existence because it reaches beyond my needs, when my daughters don't get a birthday card in the mail from any of their five uncles and typically not even a phone call. I immediately assume that their Aunt, if they had one, would never do that to them. My sister would shower them with love... We don't take family vacations together and have outgrown many of the family traditions we had, in honor of creating a new way with our nuclear family. Of course while I am dreaming of my imaginary sister, we would live in the same town and have children the same age. I wouldn't be tear filled because I have no family to help me for a few days that I have to work before the girls go back to school. While I have adoring friendships, I just don't have the friends that want to step into my life like family would (yes, the family I chose to move away from, I know). That reality hurts, I know part of it is simply out of my control and also it's partially because of the choices I've made. My tears tonight are not all for naught, I hold out hope that someday a woman will come into my life and help heal my sisterless void. Hope is indeed the best bandaid, to carry me through.