Though I grew up as an only child, I actually have three siblings. Two half brothers and one half sister. We all share the same dad. Well, it’s actually a little more complicated than that. The youngest brother was adopted and there was another brother who died shortly after birth. I was the last to arrive and the product of the next to last marriage. There is a pretty big age gap between them and me so they were all adults by the time I was old enough to remember spending time with them, which wasn’t often.

Of the three, I saw the youngest brother the most, about once or twice a year on holidays until I was a teenager. The oldest, my other brother, I may have met once when I was in elementary school, but neither of us actually remembers the encounter. Over 25 years later we finally started to get to know each other on facebook and have visited each other twice since with plans for another visit this summer. Unfortunately, I don’t have the same chance with my other brother because he passed away a few years ago due to health issues brought on by some unfortunate choices over the course of his lifetime. Even though I spent the most time around him I never felt like I knew him at all. Though I’ve heard many stories from those who did know him, I wish I had gotten to know him first hand while he was still alive.

I always dreamed of having a sister when I was growing up. Someone I could play with and tell all my secrets. Someone who had my back no matter what.  My parents divorced when I was very young so I never had that experience. Of course, I did have a sister, but she lived in another state with her husband and kids. We visited them a few times and I even stayed with them for a summer, but it wasn’t exactly the kind of sisterly relationship I was longing for. The funny thing is, though, that as time goes on, the difference in age becomes less and less significant. We’re both adults now and can relate on many levels. It’s been years since we’ve seen each other or even talked, but again facebook has brought me closer to my family.

 This is a photo of us when I was very young, too young to remember the visit.

As I compare that to this recent photo of me I am blown away by how much we look alike.

It turns out our looks aren’t the only thing we have in common. At the top of the list…procrastination. I find myself saying, “better late than never”, a lot. When it comes to my sister, that’s especially true because she is a cancer survivor. I lost my mom to breast cancer weeks before my husband and I got married and missed out on sharing my life as a wife and mom with her. I can count the number of female relatives I’ve actually met on one hand so connecting with my big sis is a big deal. How tragic it would’ve been if I had missed the chance to build a relationship with her.

It’s so easy to take people for granted and sadly that means we let important relationships slip through our fingers as time flies by. I wish I had been there to support my sister as she battled cancer, but at least we still have time to be sisters now and her victory over one of my greatest fears inspires me. Better late than never, indeed.

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