Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Extraordinary People

After my last post, I realize it's about time I write about the extraordinary people in my life. So, this will be a series - a LONG series - of posts about the wonderful people in my life. I am surrounded by love, and as old sod friend Mandy says "that's pretty bloody awesome". And I am grateful for every single one of you - as each brings a special gift to me. Now, of course this means I can't write about everyone. I wish I could, but I can't. I'd be here till I turn 90. Oh wait...maybe I should!!! A good idea, actually. Sustaining life through the written word.

So to begin. First shout out goes to two people who have known me my whole life and I think at this juncture, deserve special attention. My siblings. My brother Andy and my sister Steph.

On my mantle I have two cards - one from each of them. In both cards, they have reached deep inside their own cache of fears and love and stuff and drawn out something special for me -and wonderfully, put it on paper. The messages are about wishing they could take the hurt, pain, horror away - and blow it up. Or take it on themselves. Or turn back the clocks as if it never existed. But we know that can't happen. So, instead, they both commit to bearing witness, being with me through this, and sharing the light moments with the dark. And doing whatever they can humanly do.

Now the reason I want to single these two lovely people out is this. We have not always seen eye to eye as siblings, and often as not, as humans on the same planet.  There have been issues, over the years, which have caused long rifts, timeless spaces where no communication has occurred, from the teenage years to adulthood. Also, over the years, we had almost nothing in common, interest wise. You'd be hard pressed to find three more different souls elsewhere. But as we age, strident views and long held interests wane in importance, and sometimes evaporate and are replaced by shared memories, experiences and  life's small pleasures (wine and good books being chief among them). And an understanding of pain. Both Andy and Steph have had their doses of pain.

They are both showing me, in their own way, how to be noble in the face of unspeakable things. Both are going through significant life changes of their own- top three stressors in life type of stuff - and dealing with them very well, I think, given the circumstances. I am proud of them. I share their worry, their pain. And they are holding their heads high, doing what they can, how they feel they ought. Who can ask for any more than that? Most people end up in places in life where they don't expect to be. And we all have choices about how we deal with it.

I did not plan on getting cancer. I did not plan in a previous life, to get divorced. I did not plan on 2 kids,  really, I wanted 4. I did not plan in switching majors in university. I also did not plan specifically on bonding with my siblings in such a deep fashion, so the good and the bad aspects of adult life in this century are coming together in a moving and bittersweet way.

So raise your glass to Andy and Steph. Awesome human beings. Extraordinary people.




Anonymous said...

Love this, Kate! I'm so happy for you and your siblings that you are all coming together. xo

Auntrie Jean said...

Dear Kate- I think that the bittersweet thing about life is that by the time we learn its deepest lessons, we are past our best-before date. As an older sister I confess that for a long time, those siblings of mine were pests- then, they became some of the most important people in my life - It's amazing how time turned them into such wonderful men. That's the way it is with sibs, if we care enough to wait for it.
My brothers have given me the grandest family of sisters, nephews and nieces, and I am happy and proud to include you, Michael,Owen and Naomi in that gang.
Love upon love to you all.

Anonymous said...

I will raise my glass to you three or raise my glass three times wotever it takes...but hey not so much of the "old"as in old sod, cheeky young whipper snipper ...as usual a great blog Kate.
Love to all three of you xxx

Mary said...

Hear, hear -- let's hear more for family .....

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post Kate. You find just the right words.

Major Confusion said...

Actually, I think you wanted 5...but maybe you were just trying to scare me away on that first date.

Anonymous said...

I should know better than to read your blog while eating at my desk...

As usual, your words are deeply affecting, and truer for having been written. We should ALL share our thoughts with our extraordinary people while we have the chance.

Family is what we'll always have, even if it is from a distance or from our memories.

And I love your Auntie Jean's notion of brothers being good for providing a family of sisters!!