Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Four Seasons

This new season of fall is a busy time for my sisters back in France and England.  Its the new school semester for their children, and so, busy time but with some free time early of the day for them too.  I want to talk about family ties and how that fact can influence and affect one's marriage. 

My two sisters have been a great influence in my life both at younger age and as an adult.  They grew up around me and my life was timetabled around them.  They exist because I was around, that's how closed we were to each other.  I am the eldest girl.  So, naturally, I took care of my sisters when they were little.  I was like a mother to them apart from being an elder sister.  That's how I was regarded at least during the times when our parents were away.  And, they were away most of the time.  My youngest sister, the one who resides in England at the moment, is the most attached to me when she was small girl.  She couldn't eat when  I was not around.  She will wait for me no matter how long it took.  And, my other sister who is now in France with her family, she and I are two of a kind.  We shared many things together.  She loved to read.  All heavy stuff, literature most of the time.  But, nowadays, she said she read mostly about economy and finance.  Still heavy stuff.  She read Pramoedya Ananta Toer novel, Keluarga Gerilya, when she was thirteen years old.  After she finished reading the novel she told me about it.  And I read that novel at fifteen, after she gave it to me.  I always considered my two sisters as smarter than me.  Both were brilliant students.  We were very closed that we shared everything down right to having baths together, the three of us, scrubbing each other's back, and shampooing each other's hair.  We slept in one bed and cooked together and sang together and I will play the guitar.  We will cry together when we were down about something or crying for our mother because we missed her so much.  We will protect and defend each other against any harsh or hostile people.  We kept our secrets amongst us never shared it even with closed cousins.  Of course, we had our quarrelled too.  But, we simply loved each other.  And, that love lives on till this day.

We never drifted apart from each other.  Even when we started to have boyfriends.  Except for my sister who is living in England now, she despised my boyfriend those times when I had one.  To her, my boyfriend took me away from her physically and mentally because, to her, I had to spare my time to the boyfriend and no more to her.  She took it very very badly, until the day I got married.  She refused to attend my wedding.  Hahh... still, I love her with all my heart.

This closed relationships between sisters, the kind that I have, is hard to erase or dilute or intrude by outsiders, even by spouses.  We had very strong memories, sweet, happy and sad together.  In bad times, especially, during our adult marriage life, we shared our grievances about our marital problems and talked it over for solution finding.  We opened up everything to each other.  Working on to find the weakness points in our selves and our strong points and talking to find ways to understand our own spouse.  There is always mutual respects amongst us towards each other's lifestyles and beliefs.  We are outright about our opinions to each other.  Sometimes, it hurt to hear the truth but that's how it is with my sisters and me.  We tell each others our mind and thoughts, in the hope to help each other to understand the situation that one is in and so, the best of solution can be found for the best interest of us as sisters.  We care about each others' well being and the happenings in our marriage life is a matter of interest to us all.

In fact, we know of each others' development, about our children and their successes and failures, whats the issues troubling youngsters nowadays, and for that matter, we encourage interaction between our kids.  So, that they are closed to each other.

Does this closed relationships amongst us sisters disrupt our relationship with our spouse or it gave negative influenced to our marriage and spouse?  No, it doesn't.  Unless, the spouse has a specific grudges towards any one of us then, our sisterly closed ties would be an unpleasant fact to him.  But, in our marriage, the spouses are fully aware of how closed we are with each other and they are also aware how much we would be missing each other if holidays are postponed or cancelled.  The awareness of spouses is due to the fact that we make it a point for them to know and understand our relationships as sisters and we told them stories of our life together.  This kind of understanding is crucial to build because, a marriage where a spouse cannot take or accept this kind of family ties, would slowly contribute to being a negative issue to be pick-up by the spouse during bad times.  As such, would be an unhealthy element in one's marriage.  Eliminating unhealthy elements is important for the positive growth of one's marriage.

I regard healthy siblings ties as a good ground for building lasting self-confidence and believed in one self and this strong ties are really helpful when one is in a marriage crisis where decision upon decision must be contemplated on and finally made.  I regard a strong sisterly ties like what I have is like four seasons coming and going each year, renewing its elements with the coming new season.  Giving one with a new perspective to ponder on, and  preparing one with new hopes and new views on life.  Giving one with a feeling of belonging-ness and root-ness.  What is life without a family beside you to give you unconditional love, till the day you die.

To my sisters, Bun and Tik, my love forever to both of you.

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