I have had an epiphany. It wasn't easy nor quick and I'm ashamed to say how slow it really was.
It's about family.
My daughter is an only child and many times I have mourned the fact that she didn't have the opportunity to have that special bond one has with a sibling. She doesn't have that one person, shared DNA, shared memories from childhood that she can trust with her deepest secrets, her doubts and fears; someone she can remininsce with on every part of her childhood, share laughs on silly things they know about each other. I feel as though I have cheated her from having all that.
My revelation? Sometimes it just doesn't work out that way with siblings.
I've been the sounding board for many people that are estranged from their sibling or if not estranged, they are hurt and offended by the things their siblings have done to them.
A niece used to vent about the horrid things her sibling would do to hurt her; the sibling either unaware or too self centered to care.
Yesterday I spoke with a soft spoken person, kindness exudes from her and in our discussion this very subject came up. She hasn't spoken to two brothers and a sister in the past thirty years! One sister remains in her circle of friends and family.
My aunt hasn't spoken to her sister in 20 plus years though she says attempts were made over the years to include her in family activities which didn't turn out so well.
The husband is from a family of 12...a family so big they could have had their unincorporated village. The same dynamics exist among those 12.
I remember my own father with his two siblings. There was animosity there between two of them.
I've seen this division happen when one parent dies and that "vulture" gene appears and the greedy move in to claim what they think is owed them. This will cause a great divide in a family. Whoever said "money is the root of all evil" might not have been far from the truth.
I have finally released myself from the guilt of not supplying my daughter with a sibling. It might have been more of a burden on her having one and being estranged.
As memories of siblings flood the mind, one can't help but remember everyone gathering around those central figures, the parents, when everyone was a real family unit.
How sad this happens. It would be interesting to take a poll to find out what caused the chasm, the riff, the sinkhole in the relations in these families.
Maybe I should broach a poll on Facebook and see what sort of answers I get.
One last note. I love seeing a family portrait, everyone smiling and arms encircling each other with the patriarch or the matriarch sitting forefront, the small children gathered around that person.