There have been many times in my life when I have been bitter because I didn’t have the relationship I wanted with my mother.
As I’ve written previously, my mother has struggled an over-the-counter drug addiction that developed after her attempts to alleviate the pain from chronic mental and physical illness.
She couldn’t always be the female role model I needed. My mother couldn’t take care of me. More often than not, I had to take care of her. My mom was often in bed due to severe migraines or because she had over-medicated herself.
My older sister and I did a lot of the household chores including taking care of our siblings, because our mother was unable. I didn’t feel like I had a chance to be a kid. I didn’t think it was fair that I had to take on my mother’s responsibilities without someone to teach me how to be the mother I wanted to be someday.
While my mother hasn’t always been completely present, my older sister has. She and I have a deep bond because of our shared experience with our mom. No one could understand how I was feeling or what I was going through better than my sister. I remember being a teenager and always turning to my sister for advice. I often learned from her mistakes, and she helped me through mine. She cared for me when I struggled and she affirmed me in my successes.
Even when she and I were no longer living together, she took the time to call me and check in on me. Her wisdom and ability to model care and love in action were crucial to my growth into the woman I am today.
As I have gotten older, my sister continues to be a female role model for me. She knows me better than probably anyone else. As an adult, I still go to her when I have a problem or just need someone to talk to. She is now an incredible wife, mother, and friend. Through my sister’s example and the stories that she has shared with me, I know the type of marriage and family I want.
All the struggles, joys, and sorrows that we have gone through together have shown me how beautiful life is. I may not have a perfect relationship with my mother, but I am so grateful for the friendship that I share with my sister.