My sister is seven years younger than I am. We never really got along while growing up and I wouldn’t exactly say we are close. If I had to describe our relationship, I would say it’s tumultuous. We share the same tragedy of losing our father at an early age she was eleven and I was eighteen. She became a rebellious teen and gave my mother a lot of grief. And I felt like I had to defend my mom so needless to say I was never neutral. I was probably my sister’s worse enemy. However, looking back there were probably a few things I could have done differently when it came to my sister. I’m not sure if that would have changed the way things happen.
Our seven-year gap really set us apart because we’re two very different people. I’ve been writing in the same journal for almost nine years. Every now and then I like to turn back and read what I wrote and I noticed something startling. I spent many years writing about how angry I was at my sister for her rebelliousness. For years I wrote about how angry I was at my mother for not putting her foot down. I never thought to step back to assess the situations. And that maybe this was not my battle …
My sister has never really learned to grow on her own because my mother never let her suffer consequences. And this Valentine’s Day she dropped a major bomb on my mother—she is pregnant. My twenty-four-year-old unmarried sister decided to tell my mother she was pregnant by buying her flowers and putting a sonogram picture in an envelope on my mother’s dining room table. Needless to say there aren’t words to describe the shock and disappointment. I myself as a mother cannot fathom what my own mother is going through. Of course there are a lot of women who choose to give birth without being married. What makes it disappointing is that the so called father of this unborn child is not exactly prize material. He really doesn’t have a steady job and most importantly, he is not exactly what I consider family material.
I on the other hand have gone through a roller coaster of emotions despite the fact that my sister and I are not close. I flipped out when my mother told me. I didn’t even think before I called my sister immediately and couldn’t even figure out what to say. I was mad, sad, angry, and a lot of other thoughts were running through my mind as if I needed to find a solution. I kept asking my husband why can’t I get over this? I kept asking myself I was never really concerned about her choices before why now?
I was trying to figure out what I should do? And then I realized, there is nothing I can do. This is not my battle. I tried to step outside of myself and decided to list the facts. My sister has made up her mind about keeping the baby. She is twenty-four years old. I decided, “it is what it is.” I think what bothers me most is that I worry about this unborn child. I think I’ve been thinking of her as a child for so long because of her irresponsibility and the many bad choices she has made over the years.
I still struggle with this. I have not seen her in person yet. I wanted to be there when she was going to have another “talk” with my mother. But she told my mother she didn’t want me there. I can’t imagine what she is going through because at her age I knew I would not be able to handle a pregnancy. And I find that I’m not as angry because I’ve decided that the best thing for me to do is to not say anything. This does not mean I don’t care it means that I’ve learned that her situation is not my problem to fix. I will be a good aunt to my future niece or nephew because I know that they deserve just as much as my son does.
I think my sister has been avoiding me because she’s embarrassed and feels that I will judge her. I have no right to and I won’t. I’ve decided that the best thing I can do for her and her unborn child is to keep my mouth shut unless I am asked for help. It’s not that I don’t love her I don’t know how to love her. There has been such a rift that makes it hard for the both of us. And maybe this pregnancy will make things different because motherhood changes everything.
My wish for her is that motherhood makes her a better person. My hope is that motherhood will make her less selfish and more patient. I know this is not the way she probably imagined to have a child. However, as I struggle to come to terms with this I remind myself that it is what it is.