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Staying Connected To Siblings And To Memories
Grace & Aging - Tan headshot
Debbie Henry
November 19, 2020
Dinner with sisters during a sister’s trip.

I contend that by staying connected to our siblings we keep memories alive.  Additionally, these are the  people who truly understand our origins.   Recently, I met my two sisters in Charleston SC for a weekend of sister bonding activity. One sister traveled from Texas and one traveled from Florida. It was the first time we had been together since losing both of our parents.  We planned the trip to occur on the weekend anniversary of what would have been our mother’s birthday.  Since this was our first excursion of this kind, we had no expectations.  We just knew we wanted to spend some time together.  There is something about no longer having parents on this earth.  It makes you feel somewhat of an orphan.  It also makes you want to cling onto the lives who knew you when you were young.

sisters and friends

While in Charleston, we met some really good people and of course, had some really good food. One evening, while enjoying dinner at we struck up a conversation with the two couples at the table next to us.  After a brief exchange, we discovered the two women were also having a sisters trip. (However, they brought their husbands.) Their original plans had been altered by COVID so they had changed their destination from the Danube River to Charleston, SC.  We met and talked and it was almost surreal. Here were two women right next to us celebrating being siblings.  They were sharing memories and enjoying one another’s company, just like we were.  The feeling of synchronicity crept into my heart.  Without speaking the words to each other, at that moment, my two sisters and I knew we were doing what we were supposed to be doing by being together AND we were doing what we wanted to be doing.  During the evening, my sisters and I talked about many things.  Every once in a while something would happen and one of us would say “you remind me of mom when you do that or you got that gift from mom.”

After our weekend trip, I had a new appreciation for my sisters. I had experienced them as adults.  I had seen them as individual women…apart from our parents.  Although we were very different from one another, we were alike in so many ways.  Both of these were comforting. We were able to celebrate one another and the bond we have and also celebrate our differences. The sisters at the table next to us at dinner, although they looked alike, my hunch is they too were very different from one another.  If you read my previous blog post, Peeling The Onion Of Life’s Layers the rediscovering of these relationships is similar to the layers of onions that are peeled.  The weekend came to an and end we each returned to our own homes and to our own lives.

As a mother of two boys, thru the years, I have encouraged them to have a relationship with one another. It is out of my hands now and they are the only ones that can determine what that future will look like.   I am grateful for parents who encouraged sibling relationships.  Though these relationships may not always have been perfect, the reality is when your parents leave the world, your siblings are the only real blood relative that remains for you.   They are the only ones left that really know you and share that type of  common bond.   Somehow, I think our parents knew that and were sharing our joy.

Rediscovering your sibling(s) is a gift for all involved.  Don’t save it for the holidays.  Schedule a time and honor the date. In fact, I am already looking forward to Mom’s birthday next year.

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