What really matters about families...

Brother and Sister
Brother and Sister | Source

family laundry

My only sister who is four years younger than me is flying to Australia to live here in two days time.

The first and last time I visited my sister and mother in the year 2000. Before that this was for the very first time since 1975.

So as you can see that was 26 long years since I had seen them in person. As many would say "A long time between drinks."

To say the whole event was an emotional roller coaster was indeed an understatement.

It was so hard meeting them again in person. My mother had hardly changed from what I remember of her. Mum could not help treating me as though I was still 13 years old.

Other than obligatory exchange Christmas and Birthday cards for 26 years with five words on them well that was as far as our relationship went.

I feel quite uneasy and anxious about my Sister coming out to live here without so much as holiday here first at least.

My feelings seem to come from mainly because she has not consulted me.

Somehow I feel she needs my permission. She seems to be scheming something. Something which she hasn't told me about I know that politically I shouldn't but there you are. I've asked her to ring me but she hasn't...

It gets complicated

As I said earlier I visited England & stayed with Mum in 2000. Mum had re-married since I last saw her way back in 1975; to Rodney.

Mum's 2nd partner George died of a heart attack in 1977.

I had not met Rodney until I made the trip in 2000 and Mum had told me very little about him.

Now I knew the trip to England would be difficult. A potentially emotionally difficult trip and (and that is exactly as it turned out). As such I sought advice from all and sundry before I went.

At the time I was a volunteer Lifeline Counselor so I had access to the very best advice at the tie on families relationship, dysfunctional families and the like. All I had to do was ask.

Well as they had never met my mother my Sister and Rodney all they could really give was superficial textbook advice that they teach in Psychology 101 at University.

Of course in between all this there is a lot of water under the bridge, My sister has been married once and has had two long term live in relationships since I last lived with them which was in 1969. As we all know 1969 is a long time ago.

And unfortunately the memories are of rejection and deceit. Look there has been a lot of forgiveness and least that it the way I came to terms on my mother favouring living with with George her second partner after my dad Brian. George did not want me to live with them! That is George all he wanted was to support was my sister Linda and my Mother as a consequence I returned to live with my father. Some 100 miles or so away in another part of England. Some 25 years later I found out that George had molested my sister.

Rodney who my mother married in 1977 died last April 2008. So Mum has been living alone in Spain except for several visits a year from my sister.

Now as I said earlier my sister is coming to Australia to do a Hairdressing Course and live here. She has sold up in England and split with her long term partner John. Who I thought was great chap! Look in many ways it will be a good thing.

Except I was hardly consulted on the move. My sister wrote to me over a year ago and asked if I would sponsor her as a migrant to Australia being that my Mother and my sister now are the only surviving "close" relatives that I have. Of course I said yes. Well I the interim my sister has gone of and done her own thing with as much as a letter saying what she had in mind. Now weeks from her turning up her have enrolled in a hairdressing course. Apparently hairdressers are in short supply here in Australia so if you want to migrate here getting a working Visas is easy if you have a hairdressing qualification.

Well I am told that she will be here in two weeks and intends to bring my mother over at Christmas. My Mother has not visited me here in the 29 years I have been here.

Look I know my Mother and sister are very close that is the way it has always been. In my view too close s much so that my mother who lives in Spain calls my sister every day. Well so what you say. Well the so what is when my sister comes here the homesickness will be immense for her.

I really don’t know why she’s coming she never really has said. Why if she is coming to make better relations with me that is great. But I am not so sure. She my sister broke up with her long term partner John about a year ago.

They bought a large house together. Both have been successful at there respective businesses. My sister had two beauty salons at one stage. And John here former partner is an International Representative for a French hot water company. So why give up and or destroy what she had for a punt into the unknown?


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Comments 6 comments

barryrutherford profile image

barryrutherford 5 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

eye say and Deeaka Nonna, Thank you both for very inciteful comments on such 'close to the heart' sensitive issues. You both make very useful points and I thank you very much to you for them...


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 5 years ago

It sounds like your family has a lot of trust issues with each other that stem from choices made by the adults in your life..."memories of rejection and deceit". When children grow up feeling this it is hard to learn to trust in any relationship. You mentioned that your sister had been molested by one of your mothers husbands. Until she deals with that, if she hasn't already, she will run all her life from one thing or another, regardless of the level of business success, personal success will be elusive. Now for you, I have one word "forgive" forgiveness is for you and does not mean you have to allow anyone to take advantage of you. So, relax...take one day at a time...enjoy whatever good moments you have with your sister and mother...This could very well be the beginning of something wonderful for all of you.

Good luck and blessings to you.


eye say profile image

eye say 5 years ago from Canada

She may not be forthcoming because she doesn't want you to think that she will be a stress in your life when she does relocate.

Making a fresh start is a tough decision and moving that far away from your comfort zone is a huge risk. Let her do her thing and be happy that she knows you are there for support IF she needs it.

Take a deep breath and enjoy her visit - change is good and this might be a new chance for her.

Also remember you have some control here too, you don't have to become best friends , you can decide on the kind of the relationship you want.

Good luck, don't forget to breath and have a GREAT TIME at Christmas - once in 29 years; it's an opportunity to really celebrate each other and the people you are!


barryrutherford profile image

barryrutherford 5 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Beata Stasak

Thanks for your insightful comment will try to keep that in mind when dealing with her...


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia

My dear Barry...read your family story...complicated lives in our ever changing world where are so many options and possibilities...I don't know your sister but it looks like she is looking for a fresh start somewhere far away from everything... but you can not start somewhere where you don't know anyone...so I bet you are just that...good opportunity, but it also bring a peace of mind to you by reconnecting finally with your family...just give her a chance, you have done it already anyway so 'keep your worries at bay and swim with the flow'...


barryrutherford profile image

barryrutherford 5 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

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