From the Cheap Seats: Even brother-sister relationships can be mended

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By Jeff D'Alessio

I can tell you if you have a sister or a brother and you constantly argued as youngsters, there is hope your future together will be gentler.

I am living proof.

Growing up, it was just my sister, Shannon, and our parents in our home. No use considering our dog, T.J., because he just bounced around from room to room.

My sister and I didn’t get along. Whatever she did drove me nuts; whatever I did irritated her. It went on like that for years and years. There were times I could walk by her and not even look her way.

I thought she was a goody two-shoes, the chosen child for our parents as a sister six years younger than me. In my mind, she was spoiled. If I wanted something, I had to dig deep into my money drawer to see what I could pull out to cover the cost.

I was the one getting yelled at, the one who never seemed to do anything but wrong, the kid who was good at sports and bad at school for most of my life.

And then I left for college and instead of seeing each other every day, months would pass between meetings. Then it became even longer as her life evolved and my did, too.

Through the years my relationship with my sister has changed and I am proud to say it’s been for the better. We don’t argue hardly at all, but 930 miles or so can soften a relationship.

There still are things she will do I might not agree with and I often will sit back and remember some of the things she would do as a child that would get under my skin. I laugh now at how insignificant they really were. I am sure there are things I still do and have done she doesn’t like.

And that’s OK. I guess we both just have grown up.

Through the birth of our combined five kids, one granddaughter, the impending arrival of a second granddaughter, Molly, the death of our mother before we reached the age of 25 and finding out our father has cancer, we have managed to look past our flaws and draw our relationship closer.

Really, it has never been better.

I remember my mom telling me at one point we needed to learn to get along, because one day, we might only have each other left from that home on 2nd Street West.

Well, we’re not there yet, but we are closer than either of us could have imagined 30 years ago. I never would have expected to sit at her kitchen table and talk about growing up and our lives for two hours like we did last winter. But we did.

Sometimes growing up isn’t so bad.

Jeff D’Alessio is the News Editor. He can be reached at (270) 505-1757, or at jdalessio@thenewsenterprise.com.