While October is one of my favorite months of the year, it is also a month of reflection and fond, but sad, remembrance.
I’m the oldest of the five Teeter children, and growing up on a farm eight miles from our town, my favorite playmates (because they were my only playmates!) were my brother and three sisters. To this day, we remain dearest of friends.
I think we are closer than many siblings, and that fact is a slender silver lining in the clouds of two October tragedies.
A week from today will mark 35 years since my sister Kim was killed in a car accident at the age of 21, just three months after her wedding day.
This past October 5 also marked the fifth anniversary of my sweet sister-in-law Kris’s death. For five years my brother’s wife waged a courageous and faith-filled battle against cancer. One of the last gifts Kris gave my brother—and our family—was planning Brad’s surprise 50th birthday party. She died at 47, a month before her youngest daughter’s wedding, and 2 months before her fifth grandchild was born.
Because my brother and sisters and I have seen first-hand that sibling relationships are not necessarily forever (at least not on this earth) I think we wisely treasure and nurture the ties that bind us together. Recently, we’ve been blessed to all live in the same town—the first time we’ve all lived so close in our adult lives. And God has restored joy to our lives in two very special people—Tammye and Sharon.
Tammye married Al, the man my sister Kim had wed on her 21st birthday. Tammye embraced our family in a way not everyone in her position would have. We love her like a sister, and she quickly calmed one of our biggest fears after Kim’s death—that we would lose touch with the brother-in-law we all loved deeply. Now we love Al and Tammye together and count them among our blessings (along with their four sons and their growing families, including grandchildren!)
Three and a half years ago, my brother met Sharon, and they quickly knew God had brought them together. Sharon became Brad’s wife a few months later, bringing fun and love and so much laughter into our lives once again. Sharon honors Kris’s life and legacy so beautifully and has fit into our family in such a precious way.
Brothers and sisters—no matter how bratty or annoying they were when you shared a house with them (or worse, a bedroom!)—can be one of life’s greatest gifts. I hope my own children never take this fact for granted, and that they enjoy each other’s friendship long after Ken and I move to a heavenly address. So far, our four kids—despite living far from each other—are off to a great start.
If you have siblings, do you keep in touch? How do you honor the unique relationship brothers and sisters share?