Brothers and Sisters by Janet Cassidy

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cassidy_janetWe watched a family with five children pile into the pew in front of us at Mass last Saturday night.  Well, I should say, a family of six children, as the mom was pregnant.  Four blessed boys and one little girl.  In front of them were a grandma and grandpa with four children in between them, three boys and one girl, which I assumed were also siblings.

As the youngest (and only girl) in my own family of four children, I felt an immediate connection to the little girls and began to reflect on my own life with three strong, older protectors.  As my thoughts flowed, I witnessed one of the most beautiful scenes in the world:  I looked up, and noticed that one of the older brothers was standing there, gently rubbing his sister’s back.  This probably went on for at least five minutes.  He might have been eight, she might have been four. She stood there, without fuss, seemingly very familiar with this gentle expression of love.  Perhaps she had even come to expect it from past experiences, I went on to imagine.

A brother’s presence, so greatly felt.

How would she feel, I wondered, when this changed?  Would she feel the void as they got older and it was no longer viewed as appropriate, or when he goes off to college and she stands alone?  Brothers and sisters often have a unique bond and it is such a blessing when it is shared in such a graced relationship.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and whenever there is a separation between siblings, it is sad.  Why don’t you, beginning today, take the first step toward strengthening your bond with your sibling, whom, perhaps years, distance or an event may have separated you?  Vow not to let this continue.  Reach out with a gentle expression of love and give them a loving touch that says “we belong together.”  Let the action—whether it be a phone call, letter or visit– speak for itself.  Do not give up.  If you are rejected, you can still work to heal that relationship through fasting and prayer, letting God lead you . . .

Copyright 2010 Janet Cassidy

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