My little sister beat me to the punch.
After an eleven year hiatus she asked to meet with me to discuss if we could reestablish our sibling relationship. Said meeting happened and then two days later I got a card in the mail from her saying how nice it was. Which means that she has officially re-opened diplomatic relations, not with the actual meeting, but with the use of postage paid.
In the traditional family quadrille I am now under obligation to make the next move. Without the little hand written note my meeting with her could have remained a one-off event, possibly even a footnote to a never-to-be-written memoir. The note however indicates that she expects round two.
It was an odd experience to spend time with her and I haven’t decided when, or if, I might make contact again.
The person I sat across from was a familiar stranger. She looked vaguely how I remembered her, a bit older and darker at the roots, with my fathers eyes. Her voice and mannerisms hadn’t changed at all so I think I can safely say it was not a clever impostor. She caught me up on her children who are grown (21 & 23 years old) and her husband and his family. I learned about her long trek to getting her RN while putting kids through catholic schools and college. I learned who she stays in contact with in the extended family and what they are up to. What I didn’t learn was why she wanted to get re-acquainted or what she wanted from me.
When I asked her she made some hazy noises about “feeling it was the right time”. And mentioned suddenly remembering things from our childhood that she had forgotten that made her think we should try again. I thought it sounded like PTSD and a need for therapy, but kept those opinions to myself.
I am still ruminating about seeing her again. On the one hand it felt like trying to be friends with someone that a mutual friend introduced – no automatic intersection of common interest like kids, school, proximity or work. On the other hand we will always be sisters even if we are never friends because we are bound by our history. I keep chewing on the questions: What will be gained? What will be lost?
The only answer I can come up with is one that raises indignant protests from children the world over “We will see”.