Bridging the Gap

Well, things with my sister are improving I think. I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year (as of January) since my first e-mail from her. Since I first learned that she existed. What a journey we have been on since that day… (If you’re new here, you can click on the “my sis” category on the right to get the whole scoop!)

The weekend before last, she came for my daughter’s birthday party. One of the few who did, which meant a lot to me. It was the first time I had seen her since learning that she’s pregnant. She’s 23 weeks now and her belly is getting big. Not all of it is baby weight, but she looks beautiful anyhow. And happy. Which made me realize that I miss feeling and looking happy. Just blissfully happy. Those were good days when I didn’t have this dark cloud of infertility and loss looming.

But anyways…I was scared for Sissy’s visit. Scared of how much it might hurt, and scared that things might be awkward. Scared that I wouldn’t act like a good sister and scared that I might lose my composure. But it went okay. No…it went extraordinarily well. While things may never be completely the same between us, never as carefree or as light-hearted, I am beginning to believe that we can and will survive this turmoil we’ve endured. That she will still be my sister when the day is done.

While she was here, we chatted, we laughed. She read stories to Cupcake. We planned for next Christmas. We dreamed about our children, the cousins, growing up together. We gossiped about my father-in-law (who was stressing me out). And I asked all the good sisterly questions, like:

How are you feeling?

Are you feeling much movement?

What names have you chosen?

Do you think it’s a boy or a girl?

Where are you registered?

Who will be in the delivery room with you?

We talked a lot about her baby, but mostly because I brought it up. I asked, partly because I felt obligated to and partly because I really wanted to know. I’m a bit of a masochist that way. And while it stung to hear all of it, it was easier to take than I feared. I imagine that’s because I know what it’s like to experience it. I’ve been there, walked every step of the long road of pregnancy. If I didn’t have Cupcake? I’d be more lost and bitter towards her than I care to admit.

She also made brief mention of my loss in the time that she was here. I had a candle burning for Teddy Graham during the party and the votive holder has his name and a butterfly on it. She commented on how pretty it is and asked why I chose a butterfly. And later, I heard her telling my mom how bad she feels that this has to be so hard for me. Which made my heart swell just a little with affection for her. My sis is not good about talking about these things on her own. Even though I have told her several times that I want her to bring it up, to ask about it, to let me know she’s thinking of me and has not forgotten my pain, I think she is either too self-involved or too afraid of misspeaking, or of having no words at all. But when given the opportunity, she will take it, and I can appreciate that.

Up next? Her baby shower in January and then Baby’s arrival in March, both of which I know will be emotional, trying experiences for me that will leave me drained of all energy for days. My constant hope is that I will be growing my own tiny seed of a baby by then, but even if not, I’ll be there for her.  I’ll be there because that’s what sisters must do. And because not every “only child” is so lucky to discover a long-lost sibling of which she has always dreamed. I have been given a gift, and I must treasure it or lose it completely.

13 thoughts on “Bridging the Gap

  1. “I’ll be there for her. I’ll be there because that’s what sisters must do.”
    “I have been given a gift, and I must treasure it or lose it completely.”
    Beautifully said! That in itself is worthy of giving yourself a pat on your back. It’s not easy to travel the roads of IF, but to do so while getting to know a sibling who is also preggers at the same time?? Beyond difficult & uncomfortable, I can imagine. I commend your ability to let go of self & pain (even if it just a mask you’re wearing) for a brief moment & support someone you desire to have close or even closer. 🙂
    Sending you great big virtual hugs girl….

  2. That must have been really hard for you, and I admire you for reaching out to her despite the difficulty. Make sure to take care of yourself, too – of course it’s important to maintain your relationship, but you should also think of what’s best for you, even if it’s not ideal for her. I’m sure you already know that, though!

  3. You are such a strong woman! I seriously commend you for being so graceful with your sister. It was so nice of you to engage her in conversation regarding her pregnancy when it is obviously difficult for you. I hope that your relationship continues to mend itself and that you are able to get closer once again. xoxo

    • Thank you so much. Even though I try, I don’t always feel as though I’m doing the best I can with my sis, so it is nice to hear that other people think I’m doing well.

  4. What a sweet post. I’m so happy for you that everything went well with your sister’s visit. I know all too well the struggles of sisterly relationships. Although I’ve known my sisters my whole life, we still struggle with how to communicate with each other…I mean, we REALLY struggle. It feels so wonderful when we actually do have a good conversation. I hope things continue to go well for you with your sister. 🙂

  5. I’m glad you were able to reconnect with your sister. I know that sometimes the dread of it can be worse than the reality- and I’m relieved to hear this was the case. Thinking of you and TG.

  6. I’m so glad it went well with your sister! I have three, and though we did grow up together we all communicate differently. One of my sisters- the one I am closest to, ironically- has/had the most difficult time with ackowledging and appropriately responding to our battle with IF. She said some really hurtful stuff and ignored feelings I really needed to have validated… But I know it was all because she loves me and seeing my pain was hard for her. Sometimes siblings just dont know what to do with that kind of pain. But aren’t they lucky they have us to educate them?!!
    Keep letting your sister know how you are feeling, honestly, while you offer your genuine support and excitement to her. I hope it keeps going really well and that relationship grows into what you want it to.

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