My sister and brother and I were not extremely close growing up. My sister and I shared our love for tennis and we made great doubles partners. But we also shared a room and that was not fun. She was the older sister and had her own life and her own friends and her own very independent spirit. My brother and I are only a year apart in age and I loved playing baseball and being silly and doing stupid stuff with him. But once we hit our teens, we also found separate worlds of interests and groups of friends.
The three of us have now come full circle and although my brother and sister live on the east coast and I live on the west coast, we are so entwined with each other. And although we are each so different one from another, we now complement each other rather than being in opposition to one another.
My brother has an indomitable spirit that has brought him through many cancer surgeries and so much pain that I can’t even imagine. I hope that today’s surgery will be the end of the pain and the cancer after 16 years of having to endure so much and having lost a kidney and a lung to this disease. And somehow through it all, he has had a highly successful career and is such a gentle, kind and giving person. And I am sure that the fantastic wife who has literally been right by his side through it all has played a major role in his success in all aspects of his life.
My sister is so special in her independence, intelligence and her always being there to help others. She was the one who looked after my mom on a daily basis in her later years while raising a fabulous daughter together with her awesome husband. She makes several trips to Europe each year and has put together a wonderful family history for us. She engineered my first trip to Europe last year as we traveled together, just the two of us on our first sister only adventure (which was greatly financed by her, my brother and Kirk) and gave me an experience that I will never forget. She has made a walking pilgrimage of more than 110 miles by herself across northern Spain and will be embarking upon another such pilgrimage across France in a couple of weeks – after returning from again seeing my brother through his surgery.
For me, it is a great experience to see how my past and the past of my family in our home town has come around to the present and how it has shaped who I am and what I do as I continue to embark on new experiences for the future. And to have such a wonderful family brings so much happiness to my life and to my very existence. For the love that we learned so very long ago has shaped all that we are and all that we are yet to become. Now that is true happiness.