You should know that I had an amazing childhood. I grew up in a very happy household. My parents were very much involved in everything that we did as children. They took us to dance class, track practice, swim lessons, and etiquette classes. And oh, did we travel! We road tripped literally all around the country. So much so that a Fleetwood Mac song can bring back memories of driving through New Mexico and Steve Winwood makes me think of Colorado.
I clearly remember sitting in the back seat of our Oldsmobile watching the changing landscape pass by my window. I remember looking at the back of my parents’ heads and studying their profiles as they sang along to music, laughed, argued, and sat in comfortable silence, hands intertwined on the center console. These moments were shared with only one other individual.
Only one other person in this world was there to witness these moments that created the foundation of the person I have become.
It would seem that these moments would solidify a relationship. These moments should create an unbreakable bond that would last an entire lifetime. Cradle to the grave, so to speak. But, it doesn’t.
My sister and I don’t speak. The only other person in this world that has John and Cynthia’s blood running through their veins is as much as a stranger to me as a person on the street. Beyond the fact that we are sisters we have literally nothing in common. Despite our being married, having children, and for years living within a ten-minute drive of one another, we have absolutely no relationship.
We are not friends.
We do not stay in contact.
An estrangement is painful for everyone. It is hurtful and everyone has their version of events that led to the breakdown of the relationship. The breakdown of our relationship is like an eye-witness account of a collision. She has her version and I have mine. Everyone has a different vantage point which they believe to be fact. But, whichever account you believe the conclusion is the same.
It is inevitable that as we age our relationships begin to change.
At the time our five-and-a-half-year age difference didn’t seem so far apart. We were sisters working towards a friendship while I was in my early twenties. But, as time went on, instead of bonding over experiences as adults we drifted further apart. We did not have mutual friends, we didn’t enjoy the same activities, and let’s just say that her choice of spouse…well, it didn’t help matters. As time marched on, I didn’t agree with the choices that she made. I felt like my sister became complacent and married someone just to get married.
I am realistically optimistic about our relationship. I believe that nothing so horrible has happened that we cannot try to be in a better place.
I believe that at some point we will mend our broken relationship and this estrangement will be a lesson in forgiveness and love.
But, I can only be patient and hope that time allows for reflection and memories of those two little girls in the back of that Cadillac admiring the landscape.