Thursday, June 22, 2017

Oh Sister, Sister

To say the past few weeks have been rough is an understatement. I woke up Sat, May 20th, 2017 to get ready for work in Cali and got a message that threw me for a loop. My half sister - whom I have not spoken to in years - sent me a message on Facebook to tell me our father passed away the night before. She didn't have a contact number for me and told me to call her. I did so immediately and broke down once I heard her say it out loud. It seemed so surreal. This couldn't be happening, how could it be? There are things in life you can never be prepared for, and this was one of them. I couldn't believe it and didn't know how to process it. I still don't. My sister said she would keep me posted about arrangements, etc. I told my managers what happened and changed my flight to go home that day.

It was a long flight home and I couldn't didn't want to think about anything. So I zoned out to movies on the plane. And wouldn't you know that I watched movies that revolved somewhat about death? Maybe it was a subconscious thing. I watched PS, I Love You because Gerard Butler is funny. Not even realizing it was about him helping his wife move on after he was gone. Next up was The Departed with George Clooney because you can't go wrong with Clooney. And there he was dealing with taking his wife off life support and dealing with the emotions involved with that (and yes, finding out she cheated on him.) On some level, I related to both movies and felt all the feels on level 200 intensity. I was a crying, snotty mess in the middle seat. It was not a pretty sight.

I have had regrets. That I didn't try harder to get to know my dad (even if he was an asshole.) That it took me so long to want to go meet him. That I didn't ask my mom about him sooner. But in the end, none of that can be changed and I can't let it bring me down. Maybe one day I'll explain my dad's story, but not now. Not here. What I do regret, is that it took my father's passing for me and my sister to meet. But I am still grateful for it.

After all these years, I finally met my sister on Sat, June 10th, 2017. I was nervous, yet excited about meeting her. Nervous because what if she didn't like me? What if I wasn't cool enough? What if I didn't meet her expectations? Excited because after wanting a sibling for so long, I was going to get one. A real life sister of my own. I tried to calm myself down and not go in all gung ho. I didn't want to scare her off. We're technically strangers. After a few phone conversations, I had felt more comfortable speaking with my sis and more confident in meeting her. But it did not prepare me for that day, seeing her in person, up close, living and breathing in HD, full color.

We hung out a few times while I was there (FLL) and spent some time getting to know each other. While we didn't make it to best friend level (c'mon son) I could see the similarities in our personalities, and also the differences. I'm older than her by 9 years (!!) so we aren't quite at the same stage in life, but not far enough to make it impossible to relate to each other. I'm not going to force the relationship. I just want to be here for her when she is ready. And prepare myself to be a real-life big sister and get myself together so I can be a better role model.

- L

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