Today is a special day. Or, it would be if life wasn’t notoriously unfair. Today, my 2 little sisters turn 21. Wherever they are, I don’t know, because I never met them. I can only hope they’re safe and happy. In a different life, I would have taken them to their first legal drink, just to celebrate the fact they’re now full-grown adults.
This is a subject I’ve never discussed much with anyone, even the siblings I do know (who are all older than me). Why? Because it’s probably the most sensitive subject I could ever discuss with anyone. I deem it literally the most devastating disappointment of my entire life.
Four-and-a-half years after I was born, my mother gave birth to twin girls, who, according to what I’ve been told, were immediately given away to another family. Our mother couldn’t take care of the kids she already had, so there’s no way she could take care of an additional two. Had my mother not been clinically insane, had my 2nd-oldest brother not been a violent, sociopathic rapist, and had any of us kids had better fathers (or just the same father, at least), I might have been able to know my little sisters. But no, we grew up fractured and separated, and I was always the youngest.
All my life, since my sisters were born, I’ve wanted to know them. I wanted to be their big brother. I remember when I first heard they were born, I was very excited to go meet them. But I never did. Not once. No one told me I’d meet them, I just expected that I would.
I’ve never been sure if my sisters’ births put this innate desire in me to want to take care of people, or if that’s just how I was born, but regardless, it’s in my nature to want someone to take care of. To love unconditionally. It’s hard to do that with older siblings, because, well, they’re older. You need them to teach and protect you, not the other way around. When I was a kid, living with my two older siblings, I was able to watch them and learn from their mistakes without having to make those mistakes myself. But, knowing, for so many years, that somewhere out there I have little sisters that I could be teaching, I always wished I had been. Whenever I made a mistake, sometimes I would imagine how I would use the experience to impart the wisdom I gained onto my little sisters. But even as a child, I knew it would just imagination. They weren’t really there.
When I got older, into my late-teens and into my 20s, I realized something. I realized that I wanted a daughter. It didn’t make sense to me at the time. “Why a daughter instead of a son?” I thought. Then, it made complete sense. My longing to be a big brother didn’t go away, it simply evolved. The human psyche is interesting like that. Makes me wonder if people ever really change in their lifetimes, or if their thinking just ‘adapts’ to the current climate.
I wish I could have been there when my sisters were in Jr. High, so I could have helped them know how to avoid stupid drama, and see them in that time of life when they’re getting to know what they’re going to want to do with the rest of their lives. I wish I could have been there when they entered High School, so I could help them not fall for boys that would break their hearts, so I could nag them to take school seriously so that they get properly educated, and be there to comfort them when their hearts did get broken. To see them graduate High School and officially begin their adult lives… Turning ten years old is always significant; so, it would have been wonderful if I as a 14-year-old could see them turn ten and think, “I know how exciting that is.”
Milestones aside, I would never cease being their big brother. No matter how old we got. In a way, they would always look up to me for at least some guidance, for at least some protection. They would always have a friend in me. All my life, friends have pointed out to me how loyal of a friend I am, and it always made me wonder what it would have been like if I was able to focus that kind of energy on my family. Namely, the family members younger than me. I mean, I was the youngest growing up, since my little sisters weren’t around, and I know for damn sure that I always wanted people to be loyal to me too. But I often didn’t have that feeling growing up. With the family I did have, namely my mother, both of my big brothers, and my big sister, there were extended periods of time that I didn’t feel loved by them at all. Which only made me want to be unconditionally loving toward others in return. My mom, brothers, and sister made me feel unloved at times, but I know my little sisters would have never once felt that way from me.
I apologize for how sappy this article is. This is my most sensitive topic. I really do feel I lost something, even though I never actually had it in the first place, and this day only makes it sting more. Never having my little sisters around made me want to be a father to a little girl, but it’s also made me feel I might be utterly unprepared for the job too. I never feel I’m good enough to be a father. Too many fears, too many worries. If I forever lost my child, for any reason, it would break every bit of what’s left of me. It broke me enough to never be able to be a big brother.
Regardless, today my sisters turn 21. They’re not so little anymore. Wherever you two are, I wish I could have watched you grow. At this point I can only hope we meet someday before one of us dies.