I am closest to my mother’s side of the family due to divorce, relocation and for reasons I don’t even know. We’re kind of a complicated bunch of intelligent, compassionate, judgmental and kind people. We all have faults we hate, some we have in common with other family members and some we have that compare to no other relative. That’s where the paradox I want to talk about comes in. I have three siblings, two by blood and one by heart. I adore them all for the qualities I see in them, yet I am also conflicted by the disproportion of qualities I see as crutches. I deal rather well with my brothers but have yet to reach a point with my sister where we can actually act towards each in a sisterly way. And, it has always been that way. Always. Even as a young child I was always her nemesis. I thought for years back then that it was because I preferred playing outside and getting dirty instead of staying inside reading books. Don’t get me wrong, I read a lot when the sun wasn’t shining or when it was too cold or if I was grounded. Being the middle child I was particularly mischievous and always seeking every extra bit of love I could get from my parents. My grandson, Nathan, is just like that. He is also the middle child. There were activities my sister and I did well together. We loved playing Barbies and would stand Mom’s hardbound books on end to make rooms for the Barbies to live in. Those are some of my best childhood memories. Nobody could play jacks better than her. And, she even threatened a bully when I was in the ninth grade who wouldn’t leave me alone. Still, we didn’t share many secrets or friends. I loved her. I envied her long straight blond hair being as I was the only brunette. I envied her ability to do math and retain information in her brain I still can’t do. At school, especially high school, I was proud of her, yet she seemed to be embarrassed of that. She help me find my love of writing. I know I should’ve included her more in activities with my friends but truly it worked out better than it would’ve had I. She was valedictorian and I was the kegger queen. So, all I have is an angry sister who I truly think loves me but doesn’t like me very much. I can’t figure out what the unforgivable part of me is that she can’t forgive. I offer insight and she sees it as something other. I try to be supportive and she thinks me critical. I want a good sisterly relationship with my sister, but she has to forgive me and everyone she is holding grudges against before that will happen. We’re getting older and there’s not a lot of time left to do that. For my part, I am sorry if I have let her down. I’m just being me. Maybe she’s just being her. If things stay as that there is no way I can find to bring us together. And, I am truly saddened by that. Truly.
My sister: I love you.
“The Paradoxical Commandments”
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.”
― Kent M. Keith, The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council