My sister and I are very different. To begin with, I am older, the first-born, while she is 6 years younger. I was often the one to hold her hand when she was small, to keep her from wondering, or touching things she shouldn’t. I was also the one put in charge, when Mom and Dad were not there. (Not their best idea, but everyone survived.)
She watched me as an emotional teen, fight with my parents about such things as the morality of the Vietnam War, and the horrors of discrimination against African-Americans. (That was before we called them black, as we are white, and now they are just Americans.) She also saw me argue about everything I wanted to do as I struggled to get permission for everything from shaving to staying out all night for prom. I was the break-in kid.
My sister learned it was easier to get forgiveness than permission for small things. She didn’t argue about politics and issues of the day with Mom and Dad. She saw it didn’t get me anywhere, but upset and crying, so she just kept her own counsel.
We had another sister between us. Karen got killed by a drunk driver when she was just 21. I was 24, my sister 18. I was married, expecting my second child, and I lived out of state. My birth family, my parents, sister and brother became a unit. I belonged to a separate unit. The course of the family changed. My stay at home parents became outgoing, for my brother and sister, getting involved in sporting activities with them, and traveling the country with their new friends and parents to sporting events.
I had children young, went to college as a returning adult student, lived in several states. My sister went to college straight out of high school, got married after college, therefore having children at a later age, and lived close to our parents and brother.
I’ve been thinking about these differences the past few days. We have a political situation that is affecting children. I am upset and rather than posting blogs, I’ve been posting my concern for these children, and concern about the political situation that has caused this crisis on Facebook. My sister has been taking care of her grand-babies, who are babies. My grandchildren are from age 1 to 17.
I haven’t just posted on Facebook. I have written to my Congressman and Senator. I can’t wrap my brain around what is happening in my own country. Because politics is so upsetting to me, I had cut back on my news viewing, and even stopped responding to political social media posts. But now I am upset and following this story every day. My friends probably know how I feel, but I am keeping it out there. I shared personal information that should show them why I feel so strongly about the current situation.
My sister’s page is silent. She is dealing with an infant granddaughter whose breast feeding mother just had to return to work. She is remaining friends with everyone, and quietly talking in the background, gently, when she thinks she will be heard. When she posts, it will be pictures of her dogs and the babies.
My sister’s voice may prove to be the most effective.