By Peggy McGinnis
On the day I was born, three siblings greeted me: my 15-year-old sister and 13-year-old and 11-year-old brothers. I joked that I grew up as an only child with three siblings. By the time I reached age 7, all three had graduated high school and secured jobs. But I wouldn’t change my circumstances. I’m 57 now and my sibs are in their late sixties and early seventies.
As I raised my own daughters, I instilled in them to love their siblings and remember that they are the people who will be there for you when you need them. Who else would sit through Barbie fashion shows and cook you spaghetti and tapioca pudding when mom and dad left them to babysit? Yep, my brothers suffered through that.
To this day, Mary Poppins is one of my favorite movies because my sister drove me to my first drive-in theater for my birthday. She could have been on a date, but instead she hung out with me.
They didn’t forget me in my teen years either. My brother, Ron, owned a sporty little Karmann Ghia. I’d never tried a clutch or shifted gears manually. But he put me in the driver’s seat when I got my temporary license. I tooled up the road, feeling pretty good about maneuvering the two-seater. Until I couldn’t get the clutch to work. I had no idea I could strip the gears. But my brother did. When he realized what I was doing, he dove onto the floor and pushed the clutch by hand. He didn’t let me drive again for a while. We’ve had a good laugh about it over the years.
My other brother, Darryl, shared his love of music with me. He made the piano sing when he sat down and plucked the keys. Even though he didn’t read music, he heard and played every note. Many Sundays I rode with him to church where he led the singing. He even chaperoned some of our youth outings. We also share a love of movies. To this day, we call each other and talk about the latest film we’ve watched.
After my sister married, I spent a couple of weeks every summer with her family. When they moved to a home near a lake, I roamed the woods with them and enjoyed the natural wonders God created. We fished and hiked and spent time outside. She influenced my love of nature.
We enjoyed so much of life together. But when hearts were broken, times were tough, and life just stunk, my sister and brothers were there for me then too. And I’ve been there for them. Like I’ve told my daughters: Your siblings are the only ones who understand where you came from. We keep loving each other no matter what.
About Peggy McGinnis
Penny McGinnis blogs about finding beauty in the everyday. She writes devotions, book reviews and uplifting articles. Blessed with 5 children and 8 grandchildren, she and her husband live in southwest Ohio with two sweet dogs. When she’s not working at the local academic library or spending time with family, she enjoys reading, writing, nature, canoeing, and praising God. Visit her online at pennyfrostmcginnis.com.