Reuniting with My Sister


I started this post so many times since I’ve been back from my trip to Pittsburgh to reunite with my sister. There’s just so much to process, sift, and curate. What should I say and what should I keep private? One thing I know for certain is that spending time with her was the most profound experience of my 2012. As mentioned previously and numerously on my blog, it’s been 17 years since we last saw each other. She found me on Facebook last year and we’ve been emailing off and on. She opened up her home to me and her daughter my niece so generously let me sleep in her room for an entire week.

We missed out on a lot in each other’s lives. I didn’t get to see her get married or meet my niece and nephew when they were babies. She didn’t get to see me graduate college or even high school for that matter. We never got to talk about boys or share clothes. (She’s tiny; the window to share clothes was a slim one!) I didn’t get to meet any of her boyfriends and she hasn’t met any of mine. We hardly have shared memories of growing up and being raised by the same people like many siblings do. We didn’t even really have a chance to bicker like siblings do!

What made this week with her and her family so profound was that we got to be late bloomers together. When she took me to the nearest H&M, she said out loud what I was thinking. “Wow, I get to shop with my sister! I’ve always wanted to shop with a sister.” We also cooked together, drank together, “danced” together (does “Just Dance” on Wii count?), and we even bickered! (She wouldn’t let me pay for anything!) As for the things that already happened that we missed out on? We told countless stories. All the stories, even the funny and happy ones, made my heart hurt because I wasn’t there for them. It really hurt to hear how much I missed, but as sad as I was, I was also so incredibly grateful that I was finally hearing about her life from her.

Most of all, I’m so grateful that she’s no longer a nebulous memory but someone who is very present in my life. I love my sis.

  • So sweet! 

  • Neville

    Congrats!  You can finally blame someone else for breaking the vase!

    • Ha! They actually remember hearing about you in the news. :p

  • This is so exciting, Linda! As sad as missing out on everything is, you both have the opportunity to make so many new memories from now on.

    • Thanks  Anita!  I’m excited to have her back.

  • This! 

    “…I was also so incredibly grateful that I was finally hearing about her life from her.”

    It is never too late. :)

    • Ah. :) That was good to hear. Thanks Suki.

  • It’s wonderful and awesome that y’all were able to reconnect. Although you missed out on 17 years, you have so many more years ahead to make some amazing new memories!

    • Here’s hoping! :) Thanks, Tiffany.

  • Wonderful story! I have two sisters and I can’t imagine life without them. I’m so happy you got to reunite with yours. <3

    • Thanks, Gina! I miss her so much already!

  • adelnye

    I know what you mean. It’s never the same when you’re not actually there in the stories. You kinda feel like an outsider, listening to a story and nothing more, despite the fact that you’re actually siblings. I feel a bit like that sometimes with my brother/ parents… with me on the other side of the world.

    The good news though is that you get to create new memories and stories together from now onwards… yay!

    xx

    • Thanks, Adelnye! 

      I forget sometimes that you are physically away from your brother and parents!  That must be so hard for you. 

      • adelnye

         I get good days & bad days about it… but I can’t be tied to my mum’s apron forever, right? There comes a point where one has to form their own family nucleus. Anyway, I’m going back for my bro’s graduation in a week’s time…. can’t wait! :D

  • This is incredible. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to meet my brother or growing up with him. Would I even be the same person I am today? Scary thought! But I am so glad y’all got to catch up and reminisce. :)

    • So that was the really cool thing! For having not grown up together, we have a lot of similar mannerisms and  personality traits!  Interesting since we only have one shared parent.  

  • I’m so glad you got to spend some good, quality time with her, catching up and learning all about one another. So good to hear! It had to be nerve-wracking and I’m sure it was sad to realize ALL you guys missed out on… but also it’s great that you guys are able to reconnect now. :)

    • It really is! I often have to remind myself to stop looking at things in the “I missed out” mode and more in the “LOOK WHAT AMAZINGNESS I HAVE” mode. 

  • tomfromhr

    This is an amazing story, Linda. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you for reading, Tom!

  • What an incredible story. So so glad that you finally re-connected & hopefully made up for lost time. Still can’t believe she’s in her 40s. I hope I look that good at that age :)

    • When we were together people asked who was the older sibling! Ha :) 

      Thanks, Danielle! 

  • Aw, this story made me tear up. I have two sisters – it’s an incredible bond. So glad you get to know what that feels like too :)

    • Thanks, Jessilyn! I’m so glad too! 

      Hope your visit to SF went well!

  • DCD

    Fantastic, Linda.  Happy for you. 

    • Thanks, Danielle! :)

  • Annlubert

    i love you sis!  For the one week you were here, it felt like we have been sister all these years, we only needed to catch up.  I love and enjoy it when we were cooking, drinking and talking.  I love that we have the same goofiness manner.  Option is there if you want to move up there and stay with us  :)

    • We have been sisters all these years and yes! We only needed to catch up. :) See you hopefully next year for a vacation! 

      LOVE YOU TOO.

      P.S. You’re the only goofball here.

  • Min

    I’m so happy for you and Ann.  It’s truly a blessing you guys were able to reconnect.  You guys look great and i look forward to hearing about many more happy gatherings. 

    • Thank you, Min! 

      She speaks so fondly of you. :)

  • Linda that is awesome and I’m so happy you are able to start making new memories together and have those sisterly moments. 

    • Thank you so much, Katelin. Hope all is well with you!

  • Superawesomeashley

    I’m so happy for you! This makes my heart smile. :)

    • Thanks, sweet friend!

  • What a beautiful gift to get that time together! I have 2 sisters and I haven’t seen one of them in 12 years. That means I haven’t seen my nephew since he was 1 and I’ve never met my 7 year old niece. I can’t even imagine what visiting with them would feel like, probably a swirl of emotions :)

    • Oh my, 12 years is a long time too!  I hope maybe one day you’ll have a reunion too!

      There is a surreal feel to seeing genetic manifestations in habits and features. It makes for this strong sense of belonging I didn’t know I was missing out on.  

  • Deb Smith

    Great blog Linda! I’ve been enjoying it lately at work…you are a fabulous writer and just a neat person :)

    • Thanks, Debbie! Thanks for saying hello! Always sweet to hear someone I know offline found my corner on the web.

  • I was really looking forward to this post, Linda. I have been away from blogging for a while and so I missed it when you posted. I am glad to read it now. It was wonderful to read about your reunion with your sister. Glad to know that both of you had a wonderful time together with lots of fun activities. Family reunions after many years are always very happy – very sad occasions. I once knew someone who met his sister again after a few decades (he had moved to Taiwan in 1949 while his sister stayed on in mainland China) and the first day they met again they were crying for the whole day. It is sad that sometimes things which are not in our control divide our families. I am very happy and glad you both of you had a wonderful reunion and had a wonderful time together.

    •  Thank you for this sweet note, Vishy. I just read this post again and felt a lump in my throat develop! I’m so very grateful to have her in my life. We hope to see each other once a year.

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