Thursday, December 13, 2018

When my favorite Christmas ornaments fell apart, my sister made me new ones

One of the newer ornaments next to one missing her hat.

Growing up, some of my favorite Christmas ornaments were these little winged fairies that floated on the tree's branches. They were very old and very delicate though, and there was only one left by the time my mother died. But the very next Christmas my sister made me new ones, and they looked even better than the originals.

That Was Cool.

Even cooler is how this year I looked at those ornaments and thought only how kind it was of her to make them for me. It has taken me a long time to think of my sister without deep pain.

We haven't been close for decades, and haven't spoken in years. I spent most of my adult life chasing her affections, desperately trying to maintain a relationship with the only member of my immediate family I had left, constantly examining clues for how I could make her love me and invite me into her life.

But finally I gave up, deciding for my own sanity and happiness that I needed to accept not only that we might never have a relationship, but also that I might never understand why. And that what really matters is that other people do want me in their lives, and I need to spend my time and energy on them.

It wasn't easy, though, because letting go of my sister felt like the final death of my immediate family. If we were together, we kept us four alive. And letting her go meant I would never have a sister. That decades of sharing and shared experiences had never happened, and would never happen. Letting go of that was the hardest thing I have ever done. And I am still perfecting it.

But I did let her go enough that I can finally look at those ornaments and smile without pain. Just appreciate that she made them for me, and not expect anything else.

That is cool.