Siblings

Siblings are the peers who persist.

I keep coming back to this line that I wrote a few weeks ago.

(photo from an earlier gathering over the summer with us and most siblings).

(photo from an earlier gathering over the summer with us and most siblings).

I am often writing and reflecting on the relationships siblings have between one another. The two main characters in my current book are a brother and sister divided but yet always united, and perhaps symbolic of our political climate. But that’s another story not finished yet.

This weekend we hosted a sibs weekend, where my best friends I grew up with invite their siblings to come together. We are each the eldest sibling in our families. The eldest sibling is a special relationship, parent like but closer. I am writing often about siblings because of my fascination with my own sibling relationship. It was as if when my parents divorced at twelve (my sister closely behind me at eleven), Lauren and I stuck in it together. We only trusted ourselves. Trauma has many times brought my sister and I closer together, closer than our parents in so many ways.

Though there have been years we grew apart, we always came back together again.

Siblings are the peers who persist. Perhaps in my case, but I am so grateful for it.

You Look the Same

A friend once encouraged me to write about moving to Detroit. To share my story as a white woman from Macomb County choosing to move into the city. To write about the tension of most of most of my family spending their entire lives leaving, while I am the first to move back in. To dispel the stereotypes and write about what it is really like. Because when you grow up in a suburb of Detroit, the city is one living myth, a dark place you are raised and told to never go to. 

I took my friends advice and wrote stories of my choice to move to Detroit. Those words came back to me the other day when I met a woman from Macomb County too who also wants to live in Detroit. She asked me to meet for coffee. She described telling her family the decision like ripping off a bandaid. They will question it. She will navigate her own tension with her family history, or perhaps more simply embrace it.

I hosted my family from Macomb for the first time last weekend to our house in Detroit. They navigated the closed down freeways, and questions on safest streets to park on, but they all arrived for our wedding shower. For the first time in a very long time, all sides of our extended family were here. My detroit family. My suburban family. My new family. My aunt had not seen my mother in fifteen years and my mom cried at the sight of her, telling each other almost in the only words they could find for the moment, how each looked the same. 

Mom had last saw this aunt when she dropped me off to stand in that cousins wedding, and since the divorce, she didn’t really keep in touch with my dad’s sisters. She couldn’t. That was the last time they had seen one another. 

“You look the same,” she said. 

“No, you look the same,” I heard. 

And something about that moment stuck with me. Something about this woman asking me to share. Something that is about my need to share, to find out why we are so separated here in our place and our time, and to seek the challenge of coming back to realize we are all sometimes still the same.