Thursday, September 23, 2010


I am sitting here this morning staring at a blank blog page with no concept whatsoever of what I am going to write today. I am not feeling extremely verbose. I have a bit of a headache. My Houdini of a cat has discovered a way to somehow open my home office door. I lock her in there at night, only to find her knocking everything off my nightstand and biting my head at 4:00am. With that and the constant stream of children in my bed all night, I am tired...and cranky...and headachey. And did I mention that I have a toothache? Not exactly conducive to good prose and enlightening exposition. But....I'll give it a try anyway.

I 've been perusing emails from my sister, Amy, this morning. This week, we've been trying to plan a family vacation with myself, my mom, all three of my siblings, and our families for next summer. We would like to spend a week up north in a cabin on a lake. Because lake shore rentals in northern Minnesota are in high demand, we need to go ahead and book something soon if we are to get a semi-decent place next summer. Suffice it to say, vacation planning with the Ralph siblings is an exercise in futility. Actually...maybe it's not futile. It is, however, difficult at best. Schedules are tough. Life plans and goals for the next year are up in the air. Who knows where we'll be a year from now? However, despite the difficulty of getting together, I have no doubt in my mind that we will have a blast if we can hash out all of the details. There are no three people on this planet that I enjoy spending time with more than my brother and sisters.

I am feeling especially thankful for my siblings today. My mother's husband is losing one of his sisters. She is in the hospital and has been taken off all life-support tubes. Now it is a waiting game. From what I understand, he hasn't historically been close to this sister. Regardless, the pain of losing her is palpable. I think we assume that our siblings will always be there. Ever present. The constant joy of our lives and the constant pain in our necks. I can't imagine losing Amy, Jennifer, or Matt. Siblings differ from friends. Friends you choose. Siblings are thrust upon you against your will. It's a crap shoot, at best. You may be close. You may be the best of friends. However, you may also despise them. As a matter of fact, you can adore them and despise them in the same day. Regardless of your feelings toward them, you belong to one another. Despite your best efforts to the contrary, you will always love them. You come from common ground. You've survived the trenches of your childhood together. They know you in a way few people ever do. That sounds cliche, but it's true. They have seen you at your worst. Come on...admit it. We've all been extremely bitchy at some point or another (or perhaps at many points) to our siblings. We have uttered things that we would never in a million years consider saying to a friend. We've been hurtful and ugly. However, that doesn't matter. Siblings see that side of you and love you regardless. They'll hate you in the moment, but grudges disappear and hurt feeling fade. In the end, you can't escape your adoration for them. Who else in this world knows all of your inside jokes? Who else understands your nonverbal communication...can read your sneers and smiles and frowns and averted eyes with such aptitude? They've had decades of practice.

Jennifer stops by my house almost daily. Amy, who works an odd schedule at a hospital, I see less often. Matt lives in Kentucky, so I see him only once or twice a year. Regardless of the time we spend together, they are my heart and soul. Love you guys!


Jennifer said...

I love you too, Shannon!

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