Crying (or whining) at My Sister’s Wedding

Remember the song by Patti Page?  “I went to your wedding, although I was dreading, the thought of losing you…”

My sister is getting married today.  Exciting, but interesting.  It shakes me up a bit.  We are the closest in age in our birth family and we have always had a strangely symbiotic relationship in which we have sometimes joked about thinking we ARE each other.

When she called with the news, I didn’t take it seriously.  After all, she’s the woman who…

How to describe my sister?

She is the glamorous one.  She’s an artist.  She is quicksilver in her expressions of feelings, moods and her likes and dislikes.  She has had many lovers who have wanted her to marry and they were never quite right.  (I have always agreed with her on the that.)  But many of them have been fun, attractive, and attentive; while others have been all that plus condescending, jealous or unfaithful.

I learned long ago that I only love change if it is my idea.  So now I am afraid of the changes.  It isn’t that I believe our lives will be so different.  She has been in this committed relationship for years.   I’m relieved and happy to know that she has someone who is charming and fun as well as good and strong.

But there are the changes:

I can no longer think of myself as the steady one and her as the butterfly.    I have been married forever or 50 years, whichever is longer.  My ups and downs in relationships have been with the same person in a stutter step of learning.

I was blind to the fact that she was learning, too.  That she was working toward the same goal on a different path.  It’s the goal most of us have in relationships – to find within another person and within ourselves the grace to love, honor and cherish and receive the same in return.

I didn’t know that I had this slight feeling of superiority when it comes to maintaining relationships even though I often hang up the phone with new and helpful ideas she has expressed.   It’s time to drop the attitude and learn from her.

I recognized and admired her great skill in handling her relationships with difficult peopled but I wasn’t watching or listening to her growing contentment with her friends and family.  I wanted to continue to believe that I was the rock in her life.

In my ears her voice was trapped in my memories of her pain and vulnerability, I haven’t listened to her quiet, firm voice of reason and thoughtfulness as we work our way through recent family losses.  I must accept that now hers is often the voice of reason and comfort.

So as usual it is all about me.  I could go on whining with a list of fears for the safe continuation of our relationship.  But I know my fears are ungrounded.  I am not a child and I know my sister will always love me and be there for me.  And I’ll be there for her.

I am confident that her beauty and glamour are the outward manifestation of a woman who is strong, loving and gentle.  I know that she is confident in her choice and her future or she wouldn’t have approached this day with such joy and peace.

If I cry at the wedding, the tears will be for happiness.

xxoo

Comments

  1. Dear Sister – Thank you so much for another wonderful memory – in writing. You are an artist – with amazing clarity, thought and emotion in your words. I’m in awe when I read what you write.

    And thank you for understanding and giving me yet another gift of yourself and of understanding me. I love you so much from a sister only place – no one shares that place or could ever disturb your place in my heart.

    I love you. See you this afternoon. S.

    Like

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