Wednesday, July 25, 2007
On Being A Sister
When I was 2 and a half years old, my little brother Eri was born. He was my first friend. I swore to myself that I was gonna really protect and take care of him. By the time my second brother Nahar was born, I was already 9 years old and was already able to help my mom in caring for his physical needs, like making his milk and changing his diapers. I was already 17 when my other brother Awie, from my father's second marriage, was born. My little sisters Yanie and Elli arrived when I turned 19 and 29, respectively.
Along the way, I came across a few other people whom I have taken close to heart as my adopted siblings, like Amran, Osh, Tish, Taj, Yusran, Luqman, Laton, Azareen, Zairin and many others. When they call me kakak, that endearment is sincerely felt in my heart. Most of these people also call my mom Mak or Mak Aan.
I take my role as a sister very seriously. I'm grateful that my husband understands this and embrace these people into his life with open arms. These people come to me whenever they have any challenges or when they need a sounding board. Some just come to my house just to hang around so that they can be themselves, when sometimes even their families prove to be not understanding.
Being a sister is not easy. My relationship with my biological brothers, Eri and Nahar, has changed. Things were different between us when we were still in our mother's care. Sibling rivalry was never an issue, but differences in characters and personalities often result in misunderstandings and rows. Alhamdulillah, these disagreements and misunderstandings were short lived. As we evolved and grew into adulthood, gotten married and now each have our own little families, we look at each other differently.
Being a sister is not easy. I have to strike a balance in protecting them from harm and from themselves, and at the same time giving them enough freedom and elbow room to learn from their mistakes. It makes my heart swell with pride to see them excel and become who they were designed to be by Allah. It pains me when I see them struggle with their inner demons and the external forces that has the potential to ruin them for good.
What I have come to realise is that being a sister is not a popularity contest. It doesn't matter to me if the advise I dole out to them when they ask for it may not be something that they wanted to hear. But I have to do whatever is best for them, although it may be a bitter pill of reality. Good friends don't get in your way unless you're on your way down. Sisters do the same. Attached to that is unconditional acceptance and love. I don't have to like the choices they make. I just love them the way they are. Because God does.