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it's all relative
I've got these two cousins...sisters, both of whom I adore and consider my own sisters since I never had one. My brothers are both dear to me, but ohhhhhhhh what I would give to have a sister to chew on the family drama with. My mother and I are currently the mediators in this thus far unresolved sibling rivalry. When we're younger, it's understandable that there will be unfinished business in the form of jealousy and territorialism. Adults with children and lives of their own owe it to themselves and their parents and their own children to get over their damn pity parties and make the most of the family for better or worse. If I had a buck for every family I've seen fightin' over Mama or Daddy or Grandma's death bed, I'd be a rich woman instead of a healthcare provider. One of my favorite old internal medicine docs called it "The Chicago Syndrome." That's where somebody who's been away from the day to day trials of the patient's illness and suffering comes to town and declares a crisis of WMD proportions, with intent to invade and conquer but no strategy behind the mission. It's simply a difference in perspective according to where you are in the journey.

About ten years ago, my parents gifted me with journals recorded especially for me. Each of them had a book with a question a day to answer about their memories and childhoods and favorite things. After a year of writing, they were presented to me as Christmas presents that I treasure to this day. Recently when reading through my Dad's book I found a story I'd never heard concerning a bat. He came home one day from work and Mama had trapped a chimney sneaking bat under a pan for him to dispose of when he arrived. There's some things a girl just will.not.do. Bats fall into that category. So does a yard full of mad heifers and a cow giving birth in the snow with a chain up her ....

She will, however, support her husband's dream and create her own, all the while raising three kids and doing unto others as they would do unto her. He, in turn, will love and cherish her and enjoy all things fried, baked and otherwise prepared for his enjoyment. Because every woman worth her salt knows that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

We are scattered now...some here and some there, the family that was so closely knit when I was a child. In spite of distance and drama and poop happening, we share the same blood and heritage, fractured as it may be. It is unique and it is ours alone.

Ain't nothing like talking to somebody who's been there.
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