DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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20 July 2016

Me and my sister - 2

My sister Tricia is travelling up from the Blue Mountains to visit us. She arrives tomorrow. She is the one person I've known all my life, the personification of my past, the one who lived the same experiences I did, came from the same parents, were taught by the same nuns, ate the same foods, learned the same lessons, lived the same values and became a totally different woman, despite all that sharing.


We still share the excitement of every new day and look forward to whatever is coming up but our relationship is sustained by the shared experience of our past, the comforting memories of our childhood and parents and being a part of what made us. We are each other in a different form.


Tricia is visiting with her son Daniel and grand children Johnathan and Alana and during her visit we'll see my children and grandchildren. This, no doubt, will trigger conversations about our past as we continue to piece together what that is and make sense of what helped make us what we became. We both remember different parts of our childhood so when our recollections come up it helps us both because we have a different view of the same events. Just yesterday we were talking about the doctors our mother took us to when we very young children. We attended a family practice of two GPs and I don't recall us ever talking about these doctors before. Tricia had strong memories of one doctor, I had strong memories of the other. With both our memories, we have a better understanding of that part of our past.

I don't know why we remember what we remember. I only know it is important to do it and to think about it.  I guess it helps us understand ourselves as we prepare for a future that includes death. I don't shy away from that, I'm not scared of it and I know that with each passing day that future becomes more of a reality. It does for all of us but when you're old, you accept it and don't hide from it by believing it's far off in the future.

So while Tricia, Danny and the children are here, we'll sit around the table and enjoy being together. Our grandkids can spend time with their cousins, parents and grandparents and start to work out who we are and where they fit in to this family. We'll have lunch down at the coast where my son is working as head chef, we'll visit plant nurseries and talk about plants, we'll garden, knit, cook and talk and all that time will become become new memories.


Families are important and I think we need to spend time with them. You have to take time out to do it but it's a good investment in your wellbeing and mental health to be on good terms with your family. BTW, family can be your traditional family or the people you choose to love and associate with. Tricia is the only person I have left from the family I was born into so she's not only my sister, she's part of my identity. I'm looking forward to the visit.  :- )

Me and my sister - 1.


21 comments:

  1. Have a lovely time with Tricia and the other members of your family Rhonda. Lots of memories and lots of laughs, good times. My sister and her daughter are visiting on the weekend and I am looking forward to the visit very much.

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  2. Hi, Rhonda. We have just recently come home from visiting my Mum. She has been unwell the last few years with recurring bouts of pneumonia. (Fingers crossed this Winter is a little kinder to her!) I really treasure every minute I get to spend with her. I only see her once or twice a year as she lives so far away. I was saying to my husband not long ago, that each time I see her now I am reminded that the number of times I'll get to see her and walk in her garden with her are finite. That's something I didn't think about when I was younger. Now, I do. I'm sure you and your sister will make the most of every moment you have together, Rhonda. How lovely for you both! Meg

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  3. Enjoy the visitors....I love having family and siblings too...Regards Kathy

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  4. Have a wonderful time with Tricia, Rhonda. It is interesting what you say about what we remember as my sister is 11 years older than myself and she remembers our parents when they were younger than when I came along. I only remember my mother as having grey hair and I really don't know what colour hair she had when she was young as all the photos taken at that time were in black and white and it never occurred to me to ask my mother when she was alive. Perhaps my sister remembers so I must ask her one of these days.

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  5. That first paragraph borders on literature my clever friend.

    Have a wonderful time.

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  6. Good piece, as always..And lovely photo's to match.
    I hope you enjoy your time together. Talking sounds like a good idea :-)

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  7. What a beautiful, thoughtful post and beautifully written too. Forgetting to focus on really important things so often makes us forget what life is all about ...

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  8. Beautiful thoughts , Rhonda....Those of us who follow you on a regular basis feel that we know Tricia,too. I, too have one sister who lives 7 hours away...She and her husband visited us this past weekend and we enjoyed sharing memories, and laughs together..she is my dearest friend...As always, your cozy images draw me in...in fact you have made a tea drinker out of me...Have fun...

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  9. You and I are about the same age, and much of what you write fits my life to a T. But I must envy you the sister connection. My sister is only 18 months younger than I, and yet we have nothing in common, and even less so with our younger brother. We rarely see each other now that our Mother is gone, even though we all live within 75 miles of each other. Sometimes there are things that split a family very early on, and it never heals. Happy for you and your sister, have a wonderful visit!

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  10. Family is very important to me, also, and most people, I think. The lucky ones....I think you will have a great time being together! I am also lucky that all three of my kids and all four of my grandkids live in our little township in northeast Ohio on the Canadian border. We get to do things together all the time.Such a blessing.

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  11. Enjoy your visitors. How wonderful you can share your past memories and bring them to life. Isn't it so strange that siblings raised by the same parents in the same house can grow up to be so different and have different interests?

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  12. What a beautiful post, Rhonda ~ I hope you & your sister have a LOVELY visit!

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  13. a great post & family should be important, 1st & foremost & always
    not a lot of families are close anymore, not these days but i think some are coming around & realizing the importance of it though. i had a broken family when i was young, 2 sisters, one was lost along the way & later on in life we found her again, with her own little family of performers :))
    i am lucky to be fairly close my older sister & all my children. we always seem to have something to talk about.
    enjoy your visitors, hope the weather stays nice for them
    thanx for sharing

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  14. It is nice to have someone. I never had brothers and sisters, and now do not really know anyone anymore that I am older. I hope you share a lovely visit.

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  15. I used to have that with my sister that is closest to me in age, but she has chosen another path. It is sad really, becasue we were so close. I have a brother I am close to and another sister that is older but we are good. But I do miss my little sis. I hope one day she can come back and pray for that daily. :) Glad you can share your memories. Cherish that. :)

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  16. I so wish I had better memories of days with my sisters! They were 7 and 9 years older than me. So when I got into my preteens and teens my sisters were off on their own. Before that they were the babysitters when my parents went out, and that lead to some resentments because they wanted to go out with their friends! So, oh well, it is what it is.

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  17. Enjoy that visit with your sister and her grandchildren. I am the oldest of 5 kids. Only 1 sister do I talk to. My other sister seems to have no time for me at all and I do not know what I ever did. Example, a few weeks ago her daughter married, my sister Terry and her husband (whom my sister can not stand) were invited. My husband and I were not. My feelings were/are still so hurt. I was there, holding Lorna's leg (my sister) the day her daughter Jayme was born. Somewhere along the line we just stopped talking. I have 2 bothers. One I adore. He is a great man, hard working and very kind. The other brother is 13 years younger than me and I can hardly stand to be in the same room with him. He grew up very spoiled and he has done some things that make me very upset. (he cheated with another woman, told his wife about on Christmas morning, and left her) He has done other things that make me believe he has the morals of an ally cat, so we don't speak.
    My one sister lives close by. She talks to everyone but our older brother. She is a kind person and I love her dearly.
    We are lucky to have some friends I consider as close as a brother and sister. I would trust them with anything.
    Enjoy that new bathroom too. I am wanting so much to do our bathroom and get rid of the tub. I am having some health problems. A few days ago I fainted and fell backward into the tub and broke a rib on the soap dish. I have fainted 4 times now. That is what all my medical issues are about. Trying to find the cause. Makes things difficult because I can not drive myself to the doctor.

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    1. Roxie, I hope your health issues improve soon. And as for your sister, ring her and ask what you did. It may be a simple misunderstanding. If not, you'll have the chance to put it right.

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  18. What a lovely thoughtful post Rhonda. Unfortunately my younger sister and even younger brother are long departed - and our parents. However I have as close contact as is possible when living in different countries with uncles and cousins. A month ago we took our family on a "pilgrimage" to Scotland to meet them. So wonderful. This week we took our youngest son to the sleepy village in Sweden where my husband, his father, grew up. We visited the old house and the churchyard where many descendants rest. Not macabre at all. Graveyards in Sweden are beautiful places in the Swedish summer and magical at All Saints time when thousands of candles glow in the dark. Our son really appreciated this link with family history. I think you have to reach a certain age or level of maturity before you realise the significance of your own origins.
    I feel so sad for all who experience bad feeling within the family. It´s unfortunately very common and I know it exists within our Scottish family. Often it may only need one person to break the ice and repair the damage. Life is too short.
    Sunny greetings from tropical (at the moment) Uppsala/Sweden

    Ramona

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  19. What a lovely post. I hope you have some lovely times while you are together, and how wonderful it will be for all the family, both young and older, to sit and chat over the past ... and the present that includes you all.

    Unfortunately, the only sibling I have is a brother who seems determined to hear everything that comes out of my mouth as a criticism ... and it is never meant as such. For two children raised in the same environment we couldn't be further apart in how we view life and live it.

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  20. My daughter, her children, and I (Dad had to work) recently returned from a trip to the North to visit my two children and their families who live there. I had a great time, but know I can not make the 980 mile trip again. It was so hard on my body that it took six days to even begin to resemble myself. I enjoyed time with each member, but the future will bring them to my home. Enjoy the time with your sister. And, you're right - death is no longer scary.

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