I hope that when I finish with this they will all still be speaking to me. You see, I have 3 sisters – one of each! The oldest, Kathy, is 9 years older than I and with both of our birth parents now deceased we are orphans. The youngest, my half-sister Marti, is 16 years younger than I, but at times she is the wisest of all. Kathy, Marti, and I shared Sweetpea as our father. My step-sister Natalie and I are the middle children (although at one point she was the eldest and I was the baby)! It is probably safe to say that in the scheme of things we were fairly classic middle children – we were the wild ones. Marti and Natalie have the same mom – and I have the best stepmother ever.
We weren’t always such a foursome. But now that we are it is pretty damned awesome! We do have a blast and when we get everybody’s families together it is sort of a cross between Steel Magnolias, Yours Mine & Ours, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, and The Big Chill! From time to time you might throw in a bit of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, after all, we are all GRITS at heart! We are a study in southern culture, generation and agism, family dynamics, relationships, personalities, parenthood, child development, etc. But be forewarned, if you try to mess with us you will likely see some reruns of The A-Team (but we’ll call it the “L” Team since Sweetpea Lee provided the oportunity we have to be who we are).
I was going to share some of our stories, but I couldn’t decide which ones. I will tell you, though, that I have had great pleasure reminiscing about them and have been doing a lot of laughing out loud. I think I will just choose one from time to time and share them in smaller doses. You don’t know it now, but you will appreciate that approach.
I think that what I want to say most at this point is that I am reminded almost daily how I am blessed beyond belief to have my sisters. In recent months I have found myself in a number of discussions where “siblings/families” became a big part of the conversations. I have been surprised and dismayed at the number of families who have at least one example of in-fighting that has resulted in long term feuding and total disconnection. The surity with which they speak about the feuds yet to unfold and the dismal outcomes they anticipate really saddens me. I really can’t participate in those discussions – only listen. The discussions hang with me for a bit and then I find myself just smiling. I am not smiling because of their misfortune; I’m smiling because thinking about my sisters (most of the time) helps to keep my blood pressure in check and assures me that all is right (or will be) with my world.
Whether we are loving or fighting, just like for me with Sweetpea, I know that it is all good in the end and that we will always be sisters. Our blended families are a force! SO, to Kathy (Meryl), Natalie (Reba), and Marti (Michelle P)… I smile because you are my sisters… and… I laugh because there is nothing you can do about it. OH, and I think that Kathy Najimy will play me when the casting is done. I’ll be working on the movie rights and leaking out some of the previews in stories to come. Thank you my sisters!
I would be completely remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that each of us has partners who are perhaps the most suited (and sometimes the most tolerant) to be such. But it is also fair game to say that one shouldn’t assume that our partners’ families are a less dysfunctional group than ours — we all have our stories — but we are all who we are because of the perfect storm that has brought us together. Thunder and lightening be damned! We are, indeed, a force!