There is a celebration or odd holiday to recognize every day of the year.
I typed this on Morse Code Day. It is nestled between Save the Frogs Day and Cubicle Day.
These days have been growing in popularity and increasingly celebrated/recognized by people around the world. I am sure social media has a HUGE role to play in all of this, and I am sure it is meant to bring awareness to certain things if not give the economic push to others. I learned of a day a few weeks ago: World Siblings Day. It all came to light when I popped on Facebook and saw all these posts like I Love My Sister or I have the best sibling(s) full of pictures of glorious sibling relationships.
I have siblings. A bucket full. But I am not sure I would celebrate any of them. And it is very clear none of them find me worth celebrating either.
My husband is an only child. He has no siblings. He often says he is quite happy about that. Especially after everything he has seen me go through.
It’s In the DNA
I have three brothers with whom I share DNA. Ew. That sounds terrible even though it is offered as scientific fact.
Biologically speaking I am the eldest of four children. Sort of. My biological parents had me nine years after they were married. I was the first grandchild on my father’s side (he was the eldest of two children) and the fifth on my bio-mother’s side (she was the youngest of three). Three years later my brother came along. I have been told I was upset that he was not a girl. Apparently this is how I came to possess my first Cabbage Patch Kid. I have also been told I tried to maim him when he first came home from the hospital by biting one of his toes as he swung in the swing. Sixteen months later came the next brother. The baby. A couple of years after his birth my bio-rents separated and divorced.
All of us went with my bio-mother. Back then, as it remains today, the notion was children should be with their mother. I completely disagree with this. While I understand all the jargon that allows society to reach that conclusion it is wrong. And such things should be on a case by case basis. Just sayin’.
Everyone moved on, remarried. Via my step-father my younger brothers and I now had two older step-brothers and an older step-sister. Because my step-father is twelve years my bio-mother’s senior, my step-siblings are a bit older than my brothers and I. My step-sister is, the youngest of those three and, six years my senior; my eldest step-brother is thirteen years older than me and my other step-brother eleven. A pretty raggle-taggle crew. All very different from each other. All very different from us. At the time of this family merger my step-sister was finishing high school, the older boys were in college or off travelling, as they both did.
My father remarried. A lovely lady. My mom. She adopted me nearly fifteen years after we met (that threw the courts a bit of a loop!). While my bio-mother is my mother it is purely biological. My mom is the woman who was meant to be my mom. They had my youngest brother when I was eleven. Technically he is my half-brother. But. I had always just thought of him as my brother. We were very close. I do not remember large and significant chunks of my childhood but one thing I do remember is sitting in my Grade 6 classroom and looking at the clock. My mom was having a scheduled caesarean section. I knew the time my new baby brother was coming in to the world. I was excited. Very excited.
In the middle of junior high (or senior public as it was called when I went or at least where I went) I moved from my bio-mother’s house to live with my dad, mom and youngest brother. The situation was not right for me. Now that I am older, and a parent, I know that situation was very unhealthy. My two brothers stayed. Though it eventually proved unhealthy for one of them. My (now) second youngest brother came to live with all of us when he was twelve or thirteen. The one that stayed visited less and less. I think it is fair to say we all drifted away from him. He was raised by my bio-mother and step-father like an only child, as my step-siblings were all full-blown adults, married with children and all that.
My two youngest brothers and I grew close. It was us and the folks.
Let the chaos ensue.
O Brother Where Art Thou?
Side note: O Brother Where Art Thou? is an amazing film, it will make you laugh. A lot. And a very cleverly done adaption of the poem Odyssey by Homer. I took a lot of Greek Mythology in university so it had particular appeal to me. But give it a watch. It is worth it, even if you have never heard of or read Odyssey. J
My first year of university I lived away from home. But before I went I planned a special day for each of brothers and I, and my younger cousin (she is the same age as my youngest brother and we were close because I watched her for my aunt). Brother One and I went to Niagara Falls. Had lunch at the Hard Rock Café. Brother Two and I went to a football game, the Argos, downtown Toronto. He was on the high school football team. And a really good player. Brother Three and I went to Canada’s Wonderland. And did all the neat kids’ stuff they had then. A special day planned out for each of them. Funded by me. I was going to miss them. I loved being the oldest. I loved being their sister. If faulty memory serves me correctly.
I moved home after that first year. Due to health troubles. As I have documented here on this blog. But I did not stay there very long. Two years later I moved out, on my own. The circumstances under which I left my family home were not happy ones. The day of the actual event was embarrassing. My relationship with my (entire) family was never the same after that.
Leaving home that day was like pulling a loose string on a sweater. Your favourite sweater. And watching it completely unravel. Without being able to stop the pulling. The sweater became unrecognizable. And about eighteen months or so after that day came the complete dissolution of my relationship with my parents, brothers and family. No one came looking for me. No one got in contact to see if I was okay (my parents tried, but not in a way that was conducive for rebuilding a relationship). EVER.
I tried to keep in touch. With my brothers. Cousins. No one responded. A lot of dark and lonely days followed.
Then suddenly Brother One popped up. We were older now. On the verge of adulthood. Both in our 20s. And we got along. He was at odds with my family too. At least that branch of it. He was still very much connected and involved with my bio-mother and the family that comes along with her. And they wanted to reconnect with me. Brother One orchestrated much of that, with a bit of help from my hubby (who thought it was a good idea…at the time). But it was not meant to be. The situation was riddled with lies. And holes. And more lies.
And so I was without family again.
What day is it today?
Today is Tuesday. It is damp and cold. It has been pouring for over 12 hours. It isn’t supposed to stop until mid-day tomorrow. Or so they say. Today I have a good relationship with my parents. We are in a really nice place for moving forward. And I am looking forward to all that means.
A few days have passed between the start of this post and its actual publication. It is no longer Morse Code Day. It is the International Day of Dance. I guess there is only one decision to make: do I do a rain dance or a happy dance?
Maybe I should do both.