Spread the love

Becky holding me, approximately 1940-41

Celebrate National Siblings Day, April 10th

Celebrate National Siblings Day on April 10th! This day is set aside to honor our brothers and sisters. Aw c’mon, you know you love them! Sure, maybe when you were kids you fought over toys, parental attention, and who got the biggest slice of cake, but now you’re grown up and put all that behind you. Right? But now, before April 10th, you can safely let your brothers and sisters really know what you think of them! NO, NO! not like that! ~ Just let them know how much you appreciate that they’re always there for you in times of heartbreak or trouble. After all, there’s no one else as close to being like you in the whole world. If they’re far away, send them a card saying you’re thinking of them. If they’re closer, go to lunch together, or have a real celebration. Here on this page I celebrate my siblings with this article and then give you suggestions for what you can do to celebrate yours.

Sisters is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.” ~ Margaret Mead

 

My family approximately 1940-41

My family approximately 1940-41

Pictured here, left to right, is my brother Calvin, my father Melvin, my mother Esther, Me (Nancy) in her arms, and my sister Becky. This was taken before my Mother and Father separated, so it had to be in 1941 or so, although there is no date on the photograph. My oldest brother William was not at home at the time the picture was made. My mother and father eventually had seven children together and I was the last of them.

The order of birth went as such: Thomas William was born in 1923, next was Calvin Wilson in 1925. Rebecca Jean was next in 1928, then in 1932 a set of twins, boy and girl, Freddie and Nettie, died not long after birth. In 1934 Wallace Ray was born, but lived less than a year, dying from hydrocephalus. I was the last child, born,in 1939.

How To Celebrate With Your Siblings
Plan a Party or a Visit

There are various ways to honor your brothers and sisters, both living and dead. If you are fortunate enough to live close by your siblings, it’s very simple to plan a small party honoring them. Send out the invitations in plenty of time, letting them know they will be honored guests at the party. Then be sure to set up items that will take their memories back; old photos of all of you, games you used to play, the music of the times you shared. Make some of the foods you used to love when you were all together and set them out for all to enjoy. If they live a distance from you, you will need to do a bit more planning for each of them to meet in the same place. You can do this by phoning each and making arrangements to meet in one place such as a restaurant or a hotel.Be sure to take all the photos and things you might have, that bring back memories for all who will be there. Ask the others to do the same so that you can all share.

“Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.” ~ Marc Brown

If They’ve Passed Away, How Do I Honor Them?

If your siblings are no longer with you, there are various ways to honor them. I choose to write about them, but you may find other methods more suited to you and your area of residence. One thing that’s a comforting thing is to have a yard garden memorial or  plant a tree in remembrance of them. But try to find a place where, in the future, any of the family could still come to visit, not someone’s private property. We planted a tree in remembrance of my mother in my sister’s yard. Now my sister is gone and someone else owns the house, so not really very clever on our part. If possible, have a small plaque made honoring them and hold a small ceremony installing the plaque. If possible, make sure you have invited their children, grandchildren, etc.  to the ceremony. Make it an all-day affair, reminiscing with them about things you did as kids and what your father and mother did to keep you from embarrassing them. (smile) Serve lunch or go to a nice restaurant while you talk about old times. It’s really worth trying to find a way to get together with whatever family you still have, to reminisce about your brothers and sisters. You’d be surprised at the things you might find out that you never knew.

my-sister-becky

This is a photo of my sister Becky. She was an important part of my upbringing. My mother and father divorced when I was a toddler. After that, during the years of WWII, Mom went to work in a neighboring state’s defense plant. (Read more at My Mama’s Love ) Because of that, we saw her only on weekends at best, and sometimes not for weekends in a row, depending on the needs of the factory where she worked. She did not drive, and so came home to us in Kentucky on a Greyhound bus. Who was raising me? My dear sister, 11 years older than me, stepped up and became the household authority. (Read more at Putting Away Childish Things) She kept things running smoothly, cooking, cleaning, laundry and ironing, and raising one recalcitrant little girl, who just wanted her Momma. It couldn’t have been easy for Becky, but she never shirked her duties. She married once, and had four boys and a girl. I was raised right along with the first three. When the war ended, I went to live with my Mom in the state she’d been working in. She had met and married a man who became my Dad. (Read more at The Man Who Became My Dad) 

“My sister taught me everything I need to know, and she was only in 6th grade at the time.” ~ Linda Sunshine

My brother Bill, at Camp Claiborne in Louisiana.

My brother Bill, at Camp Claiborne in Louisiana.

This is a photo of my brother, Thomas William Brown, taken at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, sometime during the 1940s. He passed away at the age of 38 in 1961 in Chicago, IL, where he was found dead on the street. Sadly, we never knew much of my brother’s life after he left home. He never really stayed in touch with my family on a regular basis. I believe the divorce of my parents was harder on him than anyone knew. For long stretches of time, we didn’t even know where he was. He married twice, the first one was of short duration. I never met her, nor the daughter the marriage produced and even today, I do not know their names or where they are. His later marriage lasted longer and must have been closer and more loving, because together they had four children, 3 boys and a girl. Because of his lack of contact with us, once he passed away, we were unable to locate his family for several years. We have since been in touch with them when they visited family members in Indiana.

 

“ I don’t believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at. ” – Maya Angelou

 

Calvin-Wilson-Brown-my-brother

This is a photo of my brother, Calvin Wilson Brown, taken while in the Army Air Corps before it became the Air Force. He passed away in Osceola, WI on April 14, 1988. My brother C.W. as we called him, stayed in the military, transferring over into the United States Air Force when it made the transition. He was a good, kind man with a quirky sense of humor, sending us into gales of laughter at the stories he told when he came home. He married once, a beautiful lady  from  Germany. From that marriage came five wonderful daughters we adore, who stayed in touch even when the marriage failed. One of his daughters remarked to me as I was talking to her on Facebook, that her Dad hated dealing with the April 15 tax deadline and would be amused that he had gotten in under the wire. She shows that same quirky sense of humor her Dad did.

Is There Such A Thing As “Typical” Sibling Relationships?

Perhaps and yet again, perhaps not. A TV series called “Brothers and Sisters” became popular and ran for five seasons. It showed the differences between siblings, and it showed the closeness between them. You will see that I’ve placed links for the first of the series, and then for episodes 2,3,4,5. If you’re interested, the series is kind of typical sometimes and entertaining, about how we relate to our siblings.

Season #1 of the TV Series Brothers and Sisters.

Brothers and Sisters: Season 1

Here are the DVDs of Season 2 through 5 It’s kind of typical of a lot of families.


Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save