Many families have “stories” that aren’t ever shared. We call them “skeletons” in the closet. What we don’t realize is, sometimes those “skeletons” may be the missing piece towards healing. This is my story of saying “thank you skeletons for coming out the closet.”
Do you ever just scroll through Facebook post? I guess you can call me a scroller. Scrolling through post and laughing, seeing family and friends from near and far, celebrating wins, and witnessing the latest madness in the world.
You have a new friend request was the alert that greeted me on a hot summer day about 10 years ago. The name that popped up looked familiar to me. I thought it was a cousin that I hadn’t seen or heard from since I was a kid.
So, I accepted. “NO BIGGIE,” I thought. I figured we’d catch up later when we had a chance. While talking on the phone to my brother that night, I told him about the friend request. He politely told me; we
didn’t have a cousin by that name. “Oh no,’” I thought, I just friended someone I don’t know.
I went back to Facebook, and I sent this “stranger” a message. I’m so sorry I thought that you were a cousin from my childhood that I hadn’t spoken to since we were younger. I must be mistaken. She messaged me back saying oh I thought you knew about me. I’m your SISTER! — Lester ‘s daughter– my dad– our dad!!! She’s, my sister!!
I couldn’t believe it! I sat and stared at the screen for a while, not really knowing what to do next.
I’ve always dreamed about having a sister, sharing clothes, hanging out, getting into trouble together, bossing her around, and now I have a SISTER!!! I wasn’t sure how to respond, so I didn’t. (at least not at first) Not too long after, I had gotten another message. This message said that she was coming to town with her family, and she would love for us to get together.
Excitement and chills of fear filled my entire body. I mean from head to toe. Dad-Do You Know? Have you ever heard of dead silence? Well, that was my dad’s reaction when I asked him if he was familiar with this person. CRICKET, CRICKET, CRICKET!!! That’s all I heard. I guess that answered my question.
She was my sister. She’s six years younger than me. This was really happening. I now have a younger sister. My dad and I never really spoke about it again. I decided to deal with it in my own way. I figured I’d just find the answers to my own questions.
My sister and her family had finally arrived in town. She visited with our dad, and we made plans that she would come over later that evening. We barbecued and had everything ready. That nervous energy had me cleaning and pacing around with this “kid on Christmas Day” kind of energy.
When she got to the house I can’t remember the exact exchange, but it felt easy. I found out that day that I had two beautiful nieces and a handsome brother-in-law. My nieces both meshed well with my kids.
They found out that they had a lot in common. We talked about a little bit of everything and a lot of nothing. I smiled from ear to ear. Hope I wasn’t being my usual cheesy self.
My youngest niece kept saying how her mom and I were so much alike even though we didn’t grow up together. From what she told us, we said many of the same things and it was a little scary.
We all talked and laughed for hours. We exchanged information and they went home the next day. Making a promise to keep in touch with each other, we made monthly calls and checked in on social media.
SURPRISE!!!! Those were the words that I heard. My hubby and kids planned a huge Mardi Gras surprise party for
my 40th birthday. All of my closest friends and family were there.
One of my biggest surprises that night was my sister. She flew down from NY just to be there for me. That’s when I knew that she really wanted to build our relationship and become closer. That, to me, was a turning point in our relationship. I don’t think I ever told her this, but it really meant the world to me. The party was fabulous, and we danced the night away.
When our dad turned 80, the family had a party to celebrate his life.
Currently his health was deteriorating because of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. He wasn’t his usual strong self but having all the family together made it feel like a long overdue reunion.
Again, this was an opportunity for my sister and I to bond. This was also the first time that all the siblings had been together.
(Me, our 2 brothers, and little sister) We took many memorable photos, and shared stories and laughs. I’ve always had a special love for my brothers. Now we were able to also share that love with our “baby sister”. I felt like we knew each other all our lives.
Less than a year later, my dad passed away. Although sad, I was glad that he no longer was suffering. We sat
together at the funeral holding hands.
A tough situation, but it made it a little easier being at each other’s side. She went up to read a scripture during the funeral. Emotions took over as she spoke, and I immediately went to her side to be with her. So glad we were able to comfort one another through this life experience. So glad I had my sister by my side.
For my husband’s birthday, we decided to do a family cruise to the Bahamas. My husband thought it was just the 4 of us, but I invited some friends, and my sister and her family. Dancing, laughing, drinking, jet-skiing, laying out by the beach, and lots of eating. Were we making up for lost time? No, just making beautiful family memories together.
It was April 2019 and we decided that it was time for a Girl’s Trip. Grenada was the perfect place for our Girls Trip. This was my first Girl’s Trip! I was so excited!! This was also our first real opportunity just hanging out as sisters.
We reserved a beautiful Airbnb. The house was AMAZING! We had an awesome view of the Caribbean Sea, an oval shaped pool, and plenty of room to just have fun.
Eight young women celebrating life, relaxing, and enjoying each other’s company. We wore coordinating swimsuits and enjoyed the culture and vibes of Grenada.
Grenada lived up to its nickname—The Spice Island. We swam all day until dark in the pool, went on a boat ride, hiked to the waterfalls, enjoyed the hot springs at night, and laughed until we cried. This would be the first of many sister trips to come.
We took a couple’s trip to Turks and Caicos. Turks & Caicos was a lowkey, relaxing, and gorgeous island. My husband and I, my sister and her hubby, and our cousin and her husband all got in on the same day.
We stayed in a beautiful house close to the beach. The pool was pretty and lit up in different colors at night. We danced, enjoyed the pool, had lots to eat and drink, and bonded as couples. We had family and friends that lived on the island, so we were able to visit with them also.
Another exciting part of this trip was our parasailing adventure. Soaring hundreds of feet above the water was a cool experience that we shared. One of the things I love about her is that she’s always up for a new adventure.
A milestone that we will always cherish.
Here it is 2022. I feel like we’ve known each other our whole lives. We’ve played mas together (carnival), laughed, cried, had countless family moments, trips, adventures, and created memories to last a lifetime. We’re ready for our next adventure together —-the Mommination Retreat to Jamaica.
We’re looking forward to meeting fabulous mommies from all over the country that we’ve bonded with through the Fit Mommi Challenges. Words can’t express how happy I am that she reached out to me 10 years ago. As we continue to build memories together, I feel blessed to have my sister and her family in our lives. Thankful, grateful, love—all the things that fill my heart when I think of our friendship and bond that continues to grow each day.
Written by Mommi Denise
Read more from Denise here.