We haven’t always been close. In fact, we’ve been at each other’s throats more than we’ve been at each other’s sides. I’ve seen you make a lot of bad decisions growing up. In fact, I remember thinking when I was younger that I didn’t want to make the same choices as you did because I didn’t like seeing the collateral damage that those decisions caused. You’ve had hard times, and you’ve made a lot of mistakes. Your road has not been an easy one. But I look at you now, as an almost 40-year-old woman, and I’m so thankful that you’ve come as far as you have and you’ve made it through the challenges that you’ve faced.
You’ve battled problems that most people don’t even think about facing in their daily lives. You’ve had problems with addiction. You’ve had problems with men. You’ve dealt with bad health and lingering physical pain. You’ve had problems that I’ve been lucky enough to never have to face. And there were times that I was sure you wouldn’t make it through those challenges, and there’ve been times that I was angry at you for hurting people along your path. I didn’t want to talk to you, and, as long as you were alive and mostly okay, I didn’t care to be a part of your life.
But I’m thankful that those days are in the past. I’m thankful that you made the hard decisions to stop hurting yourself and others and started making the right choices to get your life moving in the right direction. You’re now making the right decisions for yourself, your two beautiful girls, your family, and for all the people who love you and support you through everything.
It’s been hard. I’ve felt at times that I didn’t have a sister, and I’ve felt that you weren’t worth being my sister. But, now, looking back through it all, that was clearly a path that we all had to travel down to bring us to where we are now. While I regret how I felt during those times, I don’t regret having to go through those times because those times have made us stronger. They’ve made us sisters, and, more importantly, they’ve made us friends. We share our lives in a way we’ve never done before. We talk about raising our children and our families. We talk about our passions and the things that bring us joy. That’s something we’ve never had before, and I’m thankful for it.
I’m thankful my son has an amazing aunt who loves him so much. I’m thankful that my parents have a daughter who has shown strength and perseverance. I’m thankful my nieces have a mom who can love them and guide them as they grow and face their own challenges. I’m thankful I have a sister who has faced it all and come through it all no worse for the wear.
This is the fourth post in my 52 Weeks of Gratitude series. I hope you enjoy!