|1973 - 1 month old|
Sure, we spent the majority of our time together during our younger years (the early ones dressed in matching outfits). We even enjoyed doing many of the same things. There was just one problem... Our father was, and still is, an alcoholic. Things were quite tumultuous and stressful at times. Needless to say, it didn't provide the ideal Petri dish in which a lifelong friendship could grow.
The vast differences in our personalities played a huge part in how we reacted to the way things were at home. Being the laid-back gal that I am, I was able to ride the tidal waves of dysfunction without suffering too much collateral damage. My sister, on the other hand, is about as high-strung and intense as they come. The instability at home was almost more than she could bear.
After we graduated from high school, our lives took opposite paths. In 1992, when I was just nineteen, I got married. Two years later, the hubby and I packed up all our earthy possessions and, on a whim, moved to Tennessee. My sister stayed in Colorado for college and then spent the next several years moving to various locations around the country.
We stayed in touch infrequently during those years. In fact, we were more like acquaintances than sisters. It was a hard season and I often complained to my friends about how I wished my relationship with my sister was better.
|1976 - 2 1/2-years-old|
At the exact same time, my sister, who had also been living out of state, decided that she wanted to move back to the Front Range. She arrived in Colorado just two weeks before I did. In hindsight, it is clear that the timing was no coincidence.
My sister, who was staying with our mom, was in the process of trying to find a job and an apartment. My only responsibility was to drive around and look for a Colorado dream home. We had an endless supply of time on our hands and nothing to fill it with, so we did the only logical thing... We started hanging out.
Three or four days a week, I would go pick up my sister and we would strike out on an adventure. We would grab lunch, spend the day in Old Town Fort Collins, go for a hike, walk the Pearl Street Mall, drive down to Denver to visit a museum, or spend hours just driving and talking.
This was the first time that we had spent any time together as adults (we were 26-years-old), and to be honest, it was a little strange. Throughout our childhood, much of our focus had been on trying to prove to others how very different we were. Ironically, it was often those differences that drove us apart.
|1978 - 5-years-old|
Our time together was short-lived. Three months after my hubby's first day on the job, the company he worked for was acquired. Everyone was laid off. Providentially, every attempt that we had made to purchase a home in Colorado had failed. With a severance check in hand, we headed to Tennessee, back into our old house, which coincidentally had not sold.
My hubby started a new job just two weeks after later. I got pregnant with the boy less than a month after that. My sister found a great job and moved to Denver. Two years later, a man she met through work would introduce her to the man that she would marry. The rest, as they say, is history.
These days, my sister and I talk at least two or three times a week, sometimes more. She tells me about the struggles of owning a business (her hubby has his own IT company) while she folds laundry. I hear tales of her life as a mother of three while she feeds her newest addition, my 4-month-old nephew. I blab about my boys while I make the beds, put away the dishes or run errands. We laugh, listen and encourage one another.
It's almost as good as being together in the same room. Almost...
As I look back at all that we've had to overcome, the simple fact that my sister and I are friends is nothing short of a miracle. That truth makes me all the more thankful that she is in my life. I don't know what I would do without her.