Sunday, January 30, 2011

For My Sister with Love

It has been several months since any of us posted on At Work, At Play or At Home All Day and for that we apologize to our 37 followers who probably don't exist any more. Turns out keeping up with a blog when people are only committed to contributing once a week seems to be even harder than those who commit themselves to nearly everyday when you don't have a specific goal in mind. Each year since we started this blog, I have started the year over with a renewed set of things to accomplish with hopes that I will achieve them since I am sharing them with friends and followers. This year, I have decided to do things a little differently; I will write about only one of them and by doing so I will hopefully accomplish it because I will be more focused on it. Now, I know this could be very narrow, but, I am hoping that if each of our contributors chooses one thing, in the end, our blog will be different because we have different ideas or goals in mind as we write.

When we started this blog a few years ago, we did have a purpose- to share with each other a bit of our daily lives and offer support as only women and friends can give in the joys and in the hard times at work, at play or at home all day. I have decided to write with this in mind, but, to do so instead for one specific person, so in the end the focus is the same. I have a sister who I love very deeply- we don't live too far apart, but, far enough away that we do not see each other more than once a month and sometimes less. We don't get to talk as much as we used to, but, I think about her constantly. It is not that we do not try, but, as every woman knows, life gets in the way. When we do talk it is only moments at a time and sooner or later a distraction pops up and we are going off in our different directions again.

My sister is a 30-something, single mother who also works fulltime, but, is considered part-time and so she has no benefits. Both she and my nephew, Andrew, have been living with my parents since he was less than a year and she and her ex got divorced. It is hard to believe how time flies, but, Andrew is now nearly four. Both of them have changed quite a bit over the years and so have my parents.

I know this is not necessarily the relationship or situation they each had in mind, but, they make it work and enjoy being there for eachother. Other times, however, I wonder if my sister feels like she is stuck and can't move forward. I see her waiting and wondering if she will be able to move on and be on her own with her child. Sometimes, I see her struggling with being a mother when it is hard and wishing that perhaps things were different. I see my parents struggle with being there for my sister and nephew; wanting to be supportive, yet finding themselves not only in the role of grandparents but also parents of my nephew. I know they love him being there, but, I can only imagine, it is not always easy to deal with a typical toddler when you are in your late 60s.

Meanwhile, I watch and I worry about all of them- wanting to help, but, not sure how I can when I am not even in the same city. I want to tell my sister that I understand, but, the truth is I can't really because my life is quite different and a whole lot easier. Who I am to tell her what to do because, if I were even in her shoes, who is to say that I would be any different.

I wonder how I can help without being too much of a big sister and not her friend. I want her to know how very strong she can be. I want her to know that she is a beautiful person with friends (and family) who know what she is capable of and the kind of person she is. There are so many things that she puts off because I think she is a little overwhelmed and doesn't know how to start moving forward. I can only be there for her and yet, I am not as much as I should be.

So, I have decided, that I am going to write with a new goal in mind- to let my sister know how much I love her and believe in her on a regular basis. Sometimes, I will send her love via a short message or a long note of support. Sometimes it maybe simply a photo or song of inspiration or gentle nudge, but, somehow, I hope I will get through to her. I will be the sister or friend I know I am capable of being even though I am not there.