My sister and I have had some pretty amazing lives. Perhaps not filled with gold, fame and luxury, but we have both achieved something amazing.
Our childhood was fantastic. Our parents gave us a great solid upbringing, teaching us what was right and wrong, and that we had to earn our way. Nothing came for free and we learned to work from an early age. Well, we didn’t really have a choice as our dad was self-employed, so by default family were “volunteering” time to make sure he delivered his projects – supporting the family business.
My sister and I had a typical relationship growing up. She was the older sister and protected me more than I would ever understand. When we were playing in the street or forest with the other kids, I know now that she was always watching out for me. Back then I just felt her being this annoying person always interfering or telling on me. When I did something wrong, she would tell me off.
In the teen years she grew more annoyed with me as I was always hanging around her room when she had friends over. I was the annoying kid brother sitting in the corner and being nosy. Many times she would smack me over the head, and in hind side I couldn’t blame her, I was a very annoying brother. I was always sticking my nose in things and always getting in trouble.
In our late teens, and her early twenties, we started to talk more as grown-ups. We talked about life and she would offer her advice to whatever I was experiencing with college, girls or jobs. It seemed so simple back then and I never really thanked her guidance.
As she started her own family, I looked in amazement how she became the woman and fantastic mother. She was strong, and managed the family and raised her kids to be great too. I became the uncle and brother who tried to imitate her success.
When I moved away from our home town, and later to Ireland, she was always there for me. She came to visit, she helped with ‘stuff’ and has been very supportive of everything I did or decided. All while providing her guidance as always. Not lecturing me, but simply sharing her thoughts.
Even when I moved further away, to the US, she was there for me, and came to visit several times. She even surprised me for my 40th birthday, suddenly showing up at our house unannounced … in the US!
Our relationship has been strengthened throughout the last decade, and she has been the rock for our family as we went through troubling and sad times with our dad’s passing. She kept us all going. She may not realize it, but she was the rock we all leaned on, and she gave us the strength needed.
I can only imagine how she felt when she was told about my illness. Her love has no boundary, and without considering her own family or work, she offered to fly to the US to be by my side. I kindly declined. Not because of herself sacrifice, but because I did not want her to see me this weak and helpless.
Thinking back, it would’ve been nice to have had her around.
Now months have passed, and I’m back to almost normal levels. I had to travel to Amsterdam with work, and would’ve passed by Denmark in the past, but decided to take it easy on my first business trip. Nevertheless, I shared the travel plans with my sister and all she said was “see you in Amsterdam”.
Wow, that was absolutely amazing. I’m so grateful for her support and love. I’m not great at telling her. I’ve never been good with telling my family how much I love them. Spending a couple of days with her, her husband and my nephew was such a fantastic time. Hard to explain, but mentally it boosted me tremendously.
So, dear sister, if you read this. Thank you for all you’ve done for me. Thanks for your support and unwavering guidance.
I love you!