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  • Writer's pictureCynthia Tucker Bain - Author


Updated: Jul 4, 2022

My entire life I have compared my family to that of others. I always thought that my family was dysfunctional and different. I felt we were not like the “normal” family. You know what they say. Who are they anyways? “Comparison is thief of joy.” - Theodore Roosevelt

Who defines a “normal” family? What if my dysfunctional and different family is the normal family?

I used to watch “Little House on The Prairie” and “The Walton’s” along with other similar shows and my family always fell short.

Recently, I was listening to one of my favorite authors on Audible (my new favorite pastime) and she was sharing some of the interactions she has shared with her sister. Immediately, that old feeling of envy reared its ugly head. I thought I wish that I had that kind of relationship with my sister.

Let me backtrack for a moment. I was the only child until I was 5 1/2-years-old. When my mother was pregnant with my sister, I was so very excited. I knew we would be best friends. We would do life together. When my parents were on their way home from the hospital with my sister, they stopped by my kindergarten class. They let me pass my sister around our show and tell circle. I was so proud! I was even more proud that I had been allowed to name my sister. Now, let me just say parents should not allow a 5 1/2-year-old to name a baby. My sister to this day resents me for naming her - Cindalena. How in the world did I come up with that name? name is Cynthia. I knew I wanted her middle name to be Dawn. So,I took the Cyn from my first name and the Da from her middle name and then considered how I could incorporate my mother's name - Mavlena. I chose the "lena" and combined the three. I wanted it to be Cyndalena but my mother spelled it Cindalena.

The months and years that followed, I played with her like she was toy. I rocked her in my pint-sized rocking chair. I woke her up when she was sleeping in her crib so I could play with her. She was my life-sized real life breathing baby doll. Then, my other sister was born, and they were much closer in age, and they became friends. My mother never said one name without the other kind of like peanut butter and jelly. It was always Dawn and Sabrina. That was not part of my plan! *My sister and I still played. I would lock her in the small room underneath our staircase that I had set up as a classroom and force her to LEARN. She was the student, and I was the teacher. It was fun for ME! I always wanted to be a teacher because I loved playing with books. I ended up writing because I like books and not kids!

Anyway, life sped along as it does. We all grew up and sadly we grew apart.

My sisters were not at my wedding, and I was not at theirs. There were no girls' trips. We did not share in pregnancy or child raising. In times of trouble, neither of us really relied on the other. Instead, we either went it alone or reached out to friends that we considered family. We have sporadically dropped in and back out of one another's lives for one reason or another our entire lives. None of those reasons, I can recall.

All of that took a turn around Thanksgiving of 2021. I honestly don't recall who reached out to whom, but my sister and I connected. First, it was texts, Now, it is more.

We let go of all of the guilt of not being there for one another, all of the could haves and should haves, all of the resentment, sibling rivalry, hurtful words and actions and have just chosen to be sisters and friends.

So, I stopped for a moment and remembered the envy that I was feeling as one of my favorite authors was reading her book on Audible and talking about how she had called her sister to share the gender of her baby before telling her husband. I stopped thinking about the sisterhood I missed out on and began to focus the one that I now have. I realized that as an adult who has stopped disliking because of who someone is not, I have started loving for who they are. I am also learning who my sister is and finding out that we aren't so different at all. There is so much that we do not know about each other! I am the luckiest girl! Being able to start over and form a healthy friendship with someone who was born into the expectation of being my best friend is now becoming her because she wants to be and is not expected to be.

Just today in. our now daily texting, she reminded me that I had made her a quilted photo album back in the day when that was cool and how she had used it to contain her wedding photos. I had entirely forgotten that I ever did that! (Maybe I have not always sucked at being a sister?). In that moment, I realized that we may not have been fixtures in one another's lives, but we still have a lot of life left to live and we are living it.

Sadly, the photo accompanying this blog is not of me and my sister because we don't have any of us together - YET.

Cherish what is. Let go of what isn't. Celebrate your dysfunction. It just might help someone else realize that their dysfunction is beautiful and normal,

Until next time,


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