Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sister Week

It is National Best Sister Week and I luckily have a sister who is a gem. We are basically twins but born 13 years apart. Why twins? We share the same birthday. She was my gift you see and a very special one too. Recalling all my birthday gifts that I have ever had in my life time, I do not think that any of them compares to my 13th birthday gift.
There are so many special memories about my sister growing up. She was adorable with her blond curly hair that I used to brush and make into so many different styles. When I went away to university, I LOVED going shopping for her. She used to get more gifts than anyone in the family from both my brother, who was also away at Uni, and I. My mother was afraid that she would turn out a spoilt child… but she never did.
I know that having such a big age gap can make people wonder whether or not we connected since we would have experienced totally different things growing up. I would like to think that, even though there are 13 years separating us, we are connected on so many different levels. Even though, I got married when she was still in high school, and I had children when she was still at university, it never mattered much. We still connected!
We were brought up to respect our elder brothers and sisters and to listen to them even if they were wrong. In Iraq, siblings should call their elder sisters and brothers not by their first name but by Abi (for a brother) and Abla (for a sister) as a sign of respect. These terms are also used for people who are older than yourself but whom you must show respect as well. My sister does not do that at all.
On the contrary, she makes fun of us all the time… I say all of us because that includes my parents as well. Not in a mean disrespectful way but in such a way that it would make us all buckle over laughing because of her wit. My sweet mother was one month away from her fortieth birthday when she had my sister and despite that huge age gap, they get along well. My mother and I always mix up our words and letters when there is so much on our minds that we do not pay close attention to what we say. Leave it to my sister to pick up on that and hang on to that mistake for weeks and weeks on end. What is funny though, is that my mother’s and my memory are not as strong as hers, and even though she makes similar mistakes sometimes, we cannot remember them all…. We both blame it on having children. So we are all waiting for her to have children of her own to start forgetting as well... forgetting our mistakes that is.
When my sister was 12, we were fortunate to gain a third sister; my sister in law. She is nothing like the Cinderella version of a sister in law. She is as sweet as honey and very caring. Before she got married to my brother my mother encouraged me to have a chat with her because I was afraid that she would be taking my only brother away from me.  When I found out that it was not her intention to do so, everything worked out. I have to give it to my mother who made sure that we were close.

My second sister and I went to the US of A together to meet my brother who was studying for his PhD.  We spent two fantastic years having a blast while she studied for her dentistry exam and I for my Masters. We bonded like other sisters would and did everything together; the driving exam, partying, cooking, and shopping. I believe that those two years brought us closer together. Now when I talk to my brother and his family, I spend more time chit chatting to his wife, my sister, than to him.
So THANK YOU BOTH for being in my life… I am certainly blessed to have sisters like you!


Anonymous said...

Love it! "7ank you thabibi!" :P

paula devi said...

Somehow I missed this post. Now I am making sure I didn't miss any others.
There is no greater gift for a woman than to have close heart connections with other women, especially family. How blessed you four are (I count in your mom).
Such beautiful faces in that photo. Who is who?

Tabouleh said...

Thank you Paula... what a lovely post... My sister is the one on the far left... my sister in law in the middle and I am the one in green! Close friends can be sisters too... it is a wonderful gift definitely.