I was brought into this world by my mother and father, who have raised me to be the young woman I am today – along with much help from my stepfather and my stepmother. Thank you for being the best parents, as I think I turned out to be a really decent, hard-working, loving human being. I grew up alongside an older sister and an older brother. Me being the youngest, I got to enjoy watching both of their lives blossom and each come into their own before I did. Growing up, we each had our own interests, our own friends, and we had our brother and sister bonds, but we never felt extremely close. Either way, the support I had from them, and will always have for them, will always surpass any lacking in closeness.
As we aged, our lives evolved into our own experiences. My older sister became pregnant with her first child and brought me my very first niece. She started her new family life, and moved in with her now-husband, where they had two more children – which made me an aunt to three beautiful girls. As for my brother, he has always been a wild spirit. I admire that about him because I wouldn’t be able to live without planning almost every detail of my days. He also gave me two gorgeous nieces, which made me an aunt to five. Blessed was I.
Living our own lives to their fullest, and never being extremely close, has made it so I’m not always around to watch every second of their growth. But I will always support them, as I do my own siblings, and love them unconditionally. Do I wish I could be a superwoman – working full time, being in a thriving marriage, all while going through a crucial part of my growth being a 25 year old and making memories, and building my future life’s foundation? Yes. Then I would be there for every first step, every first word, and every birthday for all of them. I tell myself that this is normal, though. Life happens, and my siblings don’t expect this from me. Still, it leaves me feeling as though I could be better for them. That when I actually got to see them, they would be excited to see me too, and not have to wonder when they’re going to see me again. With all that said, I hope it brings a bit of perspective as to what kind of relationship I share with my siblings.
In the summer of 2012, my mother and stepfather came to visit me at my apartment at the time, saying they needed to talk to me. Visits from both of them infrequent, I was intrigued. I sat across from my mother in the living room, where she handed me her phone. On the screen was a photo of a beautiful woman. At first, I thought it was someone famous, or maybe a friend of hers. The words following changed my life.
“This is your sister.”
I looked at her, unsure of what she just told me. My thoughts spinning around in my head like a carousel going too fast, where I couldn’t see my surroundings.
“What? What do you mean?” Those were the words I found once the carousel slowed down, where I could depict human life looking in at me going round in circles.
She then began to explain to me that she had had a baby girl when she was younger, but was unable to raise her under my grandfather’s roof, as he believed her to be too young to be a mother. Times were very different back then, before television shows like Teen Mom. Times seemed simpler. She was made to put the baby girl up for adoption, where she was adopted by two wide-eyed, loving parents, who gave her nothing but the best. That baby was raised into a beautiful young woman. My mother told me that that very beautiful woman found her, and reached out to her 30 years later. That they were going to meet when they were both ready. I had a half-sister. I wasn’t quite sure what I was to do with this new information. I suppose I was in shock. My mother explained to me that she didn’t feel the need to speak of this all those years, as that baby girl was most likely living her life, and wasn’t sure if she would want to be contacted. God, am I glad that she found my mother.
My mother went on to meet my half-sister a couple of weeks later at her home. I remember my mother posting photos, and how in awe I was still of the whole situation. I also wanted to meet her. I soon found out that my older sister invited her to her wedding that was approaching. That was when I was finally going to see her. I remember my anxiety radiating off of my skin. There she was. In a dark purple dress, shiny long brown hair, walking into the ladies room where my sister and I were getting ready. The rest is a blur to me. I remember hugging her, and wanting to cry. Possibly telling her how beautiful she was, because she is. How I immediately wanted to begin life’s journey with my new sister.
After that day, we kept in touch via Facebook, and I invited her to my 21st birthday, where she would buy me one too many Long Island iced teas. Our families gathered for Easter at her father’s house. I would travel to her home to enjoy wine and good conversations to make up for lost time. She then asked me to be a bridesmaid, alongside my older sister in her wedding to her now-husband, where I was able to share one of her life’s most precious moments with her – feeling so honored that she wanted me and my sister to be by her side. We drank, we danced, and we smoked cigars. She was me from the future. Such similar human beings, yet raised so differently.
Shortly after the wedding, she was pregnant with her very first child. My featured photo above of the both of us playing in the ocean, was when she was pregnant. That was at a wedding we both were invited to of my brother’s daughters’ mother, who married a wonderful man and created a life of her own, and was so gracious enough to let us be a part of her day. But as you can see, we were enjoying ourselves very much, even though she was super jealous I could enjoy wine, and she could not. She then brought me my sixth niece. SIXTH! And I’ve gotten to watch her grow over the past couple years, and enjoy many special occasions with her.
This new sister also got to watch me transition into the woman I am today. She got to see me go through my last relationship, and see me marry my current husband, and to see how engulfed in his love I was, and am – to witness me meet him, and continue to not only make memories with me, but with him as well.
She was pregnant for the past nine months with her second child. A boy. My first nephew. Finally! I received a text early yesterday morning while at work, saying he finally entered the world. I of course freaked out, and left work two hours early to meet him. I drove to the hospital with my husband, and held him for what was not nearly enough time. Just saying. I could have held him all day.
All of this made me realize how damned appreciative I am that she sought out my mother and opened her life and arms to us. Over the past five years, I’ve gotten to experience her kindness, how welcoming she is, and just how beautiful her soul is. She also knows how to have a hell of a good time. I could not imagine my life without her. Without her family. Five years ago I gained a sister, who gave me a brother-in-law, a niece, and a nephew, all because she was curious, found my mother, and found me. I am forever grateful for this life I live, and for my incredible family.