As sometimes happens in families between siblings, my sister and I had a falling out. She became angry with me and I honestly did not have an inkling of what horrible thing I must have done to be excommunicated as a sibling. We existed like this for 11 years. There were occasions, such as a death in the family, when I would call to pass on the information. The conversations were strained and quick. There were also those times that we crossed each other's paths in public. Of course when that happened there was the polite impersonal exchange of two or three sentences inquiring about the kids and grand kids. Sounded more like grunts and moans than anything resembling speech. None the less, that is how it went for 11 years.
There was 14 years difference in our age, so when I was starting school my sister had already moved out on her own. We didn't have the kind of relationship that sisters have when they grow up together. She was somewhat of a second mother to me, because as a small child my care fell to her when our mother wasn't there.
To be brutally honest with you, I can be stubborn at times, with a twist of bullheadedness thrown in. So when my sister had decided to delete me from her list of relatives I was clueless as to why and hurt, but was determined that no one would know how I really felt. Word did come to me through someone who I should have known would be an unreliable source. In fact it was someone that would get a lot of pleasure from my pain. What I was told only served to make me angry because I saw it as pettiness on my sister's part. There were times over that 11 year time span when I considered calling her and talking it out. Before I could dial that phone though that stubbornness would kick in and I rationalized why I shouldn't be the one to make the first move.
Just prior to to selling the house and getting caught up in what seemed to be the never ending process of moving, I had a Saturday that I decided to spend watching some movies that I had been wanting to see. 'Passengers' was one of those on my list. By the time it was over, I was a mess with tears that just didn't want to stop. In a heart beat, I had the phone in my hand, dialing my sister's number.
We have spent these recent months since I made that phone call mending our relationship and healing. During this time my brother-in-law passed away. I am so grateful that I was able to be there for her and to help her through her loss. I am also grateful that my brother-in-law knew that we had settled our differences before he died. There was an important lesson learned through all of this... One that I won't soon forget. When it comes to loved ones, never ever let pride and stubbornness stand in the way of mending fences. In the blink of an eye the opportunity could be taken away from you.
Thursday, my sis and I are going to visit our favorite aunt while we still have the chance to.