I don’t regret much, but if there’s one thing I wish I could do, I wish I could have had a tiny, beachfront wedding, simple, no frills. I would have let my sisters and friends give me an amazing bridal shower, I would have invited a few more people to my wedding that are super important to me. I had no idea that how you get married, or even how you date, impacts your relationship with your siblings.
There’s a such thing as being so self-centered that it damages your other relationships. And I had that issue this year.
I had my guards up, out of hurt, out of fear of being hurt and disappointed again.
Being the oldest growing up, meant I had to be strong for everyone else. It meant I knew better, and was held accountable for not only my actions, but others’ actions too. I don’t know the exact day but one day, I did decide, enough was enough, I was going to look out for me.
And I did. I felt as if, nobody was going to look out for me, so I had to look out for myself. I was so busy afraid of being hurt that I hurt others in the process.
There was me fleeing home when my grandmother passed away on my 21st birthday. I abandoned my family when they needed me most, to grieve by myself, in my own way. I was hurting so bad when she passed away, my grandmother understood me in ways nobody else did. And she was gone. I was hurt. I was angry. I was disappointed. And now, I had all these other people depending on me to be strong. And I couldn’t. So off I ran to Pittsburgh, the day after the funeral, to be with friends. Where i didn’t have to be big sister, oldest daughter. I was just Dei.
Later on my sisters would tell me they felt abandoned. My father wasn’t too pleased with my decision. That was one of the trickiest decisions I ever had to make.
When I got married, without the fan fare, I didn’t realize, I missed out on opportunities to bond with my sisters. I missed out on opportunities to get to know my in-laws. Suddenly we were married and everyone had to deal with the fallout of it. I was so standoffish about it, so defensive, I couldn’t see anyone else’s point of view.
Even this year, there was still some fall out over decisions I had made. I was so against being a people pleaser that I failed to be considerate of family.
Even though K is my immediate family now, my sisters, my parents, and other loved ones, are still family too. And I have to balance that, walk a fine line, between making my marriage a priority, while not forgetting about my siblings. Sometimes, it feels like there’s not enough of me to go around.
Nobody’s family is perfect. There was much tension within me trying to figure out how to spend time with my sisters so they wouldn’t feel like I forgot all about them after getting married. There were words said that none of us could take back. There were arguments, tears shed, just lots of difficult moments.
Then I think back to a few days ago. My sister and I just enjoying each other’s company. And as I reflected on it now, as my sister prepares to turn 25, it reminds me of the family ties that bind us together. That no matter what happens, who gets married, who has kids, who moves away, whatever happens-that’s still my sister. A few months ago, we struggled to understand each other. We are nowhere near perfect, but we’ve come a long way. I still love her, even when I don’t quite understand her and she doesn’t understand me. Even when we’re not the greatest at communicating-we’re still sisters. And the relationships I have with my siblings, with my parents, with my nephews, are all so unique and enrich my life even more, making it that much fuller.
I love my sisters. I love my family. We have a bond that is unbreakable. Even if we disagree, argue, don’t get along. Even if mistakes have been made in the past, things that we can’t go back and change, we do get a second chance. And a third. And a fourth.
How is that?? Because we have been given another day with each other. And that is a gift in itself.