Texas organization: Healing Estranged Relationships (H.E.R.)

When do we stop talking and get on with our lives?

Sisters: Estrangement & Reconciliation

October has been a busy month for me. No time to read books. Although I find time to sit at the computer and read and write. It takes a conscious effort to pick up a book to read rather than go online and browse through the vast tomes of the internet. I have several books waiting for my attention. One being My Mother's Daughter: a memoir by Rona Maynard.

I was surprised to receive an email from Rona Maynard yesterday. She had discovered my website and weblog. She sent me links to her website, ronamaynard.com, and to her sister's website, joycemaynard.com. Recently they jointly wrote an article for the American and Canadian editions of MORE magazine. Each has their own story on their respective websites. Their relationship is blossoming at long last.

I never had siblings. I have had differing feelings about whether I would have wanted sisters and brothers. For most of my life I felt grateful that I didn't have siblings because I didn't want anyone else to experience my parents' bad behavior. For them to have had one child was enough.

Not that they were the worst parents in the world. I am not saying that. I don't feel vindictive and angry at either of them. But I have felt relief that no one else besides me had to have them as parents. They were too wrapped up on other things like drinking, my father's gambling, my mother's depression and emotional instability, and conflict with each other to pay attention to a kid.

In recent years I have been more involved in activities where I need to work with groups of people. I am more socially involved than I've ever been before. I have had to learn how to get along with people who are unlike me, who have different interests, who have had very different life paths. Many of them are people I would not have tried to get to know if I had met them casually. I find myself feeling such affection for many of them, even though we come from such very different backgrounds.

Feeling such affection for these new friends whom I never would have chosen as friends if I hadn't been involved in these groups, I have wondered what it might have been like to have a sister. I mentioned that recently and one woman who has a sister stated that it isn't always good. As I type this, I realize that one of my new friends told me recently that she has been estranged by one of her two sisters. Then reading the stories written by the Maynard sisters, I realize that having a sibling can be another source of pain and frustration. It must be terrible to wish for and never have a relationship that matched up to that illusory one we have in our heads.

I am thinking that having a sister or a brother must be great when it works and hell when it doesn't. I am having a fantasy of having a sister and it is a lovely fantasy.



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