Blood Ties

Just looking at pictures of my niece fills me with a fierce, protective love. Over my dead body will anything hurt her when I am around.  I have not held her, I have not heard her cries, but still, I would kill or be killed for her. Funny how that human instinct works, huh?

My sister and I have had a strange relationship over the years.  I have nursed her through many episodes of mental illness. I have fended off her attacks on my brother and mother during her bad times. For a long, long time I was her only confidante.  She has betrayed me time and time again, yet I would still take her in (even though it would cause huge fights with my husband). I understand her mental illness. She had a horribly traumatic life. Her mother abandoned her in a train station when she was 4. She remembers her mother telling her to wait, and then never coming back. Her orphanage was a dismal, crowded place that later investigations revealed had been used as a brothel.

She came to the U.S.A when she was seven, knowing exactly two English words: cartoon and chocolate. Nobody could speak to her. My parents did not hire a translator.  Snow was on the ground. I remember her being terrified. I was the one who interacted with her. I taught her how to ride a bike. I was the first to understand what she meant in her garbled English. Still, she says things that only I can understand.

I love my sister. She’s difficult to love, but so am I.  She’s had more horrible things happen to her than anyone imagines.

I shit on anyone who says blood ties are the strongest. I cannot imagine having a stronger tie to siblings other than the ones I have.

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1 Response to “Blood Ties”


  1. 1 Angie in Texas October 25, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    first: congrats on becoming an aunt! she’s too cute! (burrito! lol)

    second: blood is thick, but shared experiences and proximity are too. i’m sorry about your sister and her experiences . . . but i am glad to know she has you. =)


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