Home and Horror Series Part 1: Sisters

“How do they get along?”

It’s a reference to my beautiful girls and a question I’ve gotten often through the years. My mind would race frantically as I thought of the spin. Do I tell it like it is or do I lie?

Wellll. Hmmm.”

A quiet moment would pass as I would think of how to answer. And then I did what I always do. I tell the truth.

“Jessa adores her big sister. Juliana is still getting there.” See, telling the truth is not so bad after all. Even if it’s not what people expect to hear.

But as you can see from the sweet hug above, times have changed.

Welcome to fall, and to October. Soon, we’ll get our first dose of cooler temperatures and a weird holiday that some people take to the limit or refuse to celebrate for its shady history. I’m calling this four-part series Home and Horror. From the title, you can imagine why. There will be some posts about things in my house I really like and some scary things I didn’t want to see.

So back to my girls. There is both a home and horror tale there. Years ago, and it seems like yesterday, I wrote this post about Juliana lashing out against Jessa at every given opportunity. I never had a doubt that Jessa would love her sister with everything in her; wasn’t so sure how things would go for Juliana. And yes, it concerned me greatly.

Time really can make things better and I don’t worry about their relationship these days. They fight like other siblings do and love each other a lot like siblings should. Now, there’s lots of smiling from me about their connection.

While there may be some moments of jealousy and meanness, Juliana has adjusted quite well to the little sister that joined HER family one day and never left.

The two of them can be found wrestling or laying all over each other. When I see the odd entanglements of body parts, I quizzingly think “What’s up with that? Why are they holding each other’s toes? Did I get myself all tangled and wrapped around my sister like that when I was little?”

But I don’t complain. On a given day, you’ll find Jessa buzzing around Juliana begging to help feed her, or turning on the iPad to put on Juliana’s favorite show.

And Juliana now reciprocates. I got a sweet surprise during a school pick-up at the beginning of the year. Jessa entered the classroom with me and before she barely got into the room, Juliana ran over, grabbed Jessa and gave her a big “Hey, where-have-you-been-I’ve-missed-you-bear hug.”

I stood there calm and pleased but I was so happy about it I wanted to cry. Hugs and sweet entanglements come all the time now. The horrors of the past can be laid to rest. There is no doubt about it that Juliana loves her little sister.

Siblings have a unique relationship with their special needs brothers and sisters whether they realize the lasting impact or not. Years ago, I interviewed one of those adult siblings, Martha Ray during my Legacy Series. This week, Martha lost a tough battle against cancer and now rests with her Heavenly Father.

This post is dedicated to Martha who honored and cherished her special needs brother with more love imaginable. I will be forever grateful for the spoken and written encouragements she gave me.

I see a lot of Martha-type sibling love in Jessa, and that makes me ever so glad.


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