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  • Writer's pictureAshley Gray

The Weekend Sister

One weekend, many years ago, my brother said these words to me. It's as if time stood still because I can still hear him proudly proclaim in front of my dad, stepmother and little sister that I was "only a weekend sister". Although it broke my heart, his immature summation was valid. I was just there because I had to be. Literally had to be. It was court ordered. Every other weekend for years. Police even pulled me out of the house for visits for a while. Perhaps, this is one of many trauma ridden interactions with police. Two different households, two different struggles, two different messages about my role as a daughter and two very different understandings of its impact on me.

Last week my little sister got married. I was not invited. I was not included. I've grown used to this eventhough it hurts. So I say messages like, "Well, I had everything I needed growing up" or "I was better off...". Truth is, I grew up with a broken heart and transitioned into a broken woman. And I have been climbing out of the ashes that brokenness creates for my sake, my future children's sake and the person that I'll do life with. But. Every now and then, something hits me like a ton of bricks. Today, it was seeing a video of her and my father dancing. This is my little sister who is now a woman I don't know and the man I always wanted to know better.

The caption read something like, "Daddy and his babygirl" and "Their favorite song"... Jesus that hurts. Not because they have a thing. I love that they have a thing, they should. It's just that we should also have a thing. Something that's ours beyond the casual conversation about our similar features. Only so many ways, we can talk about dimples or cheekbones (which I'm sure came from Carol). We should have a thing. As my family prepared for the wedding, they all managed to emphasize that it was a really small wedding. "Only close family and friends". That's never included me. And it still doesn't. And that shit still sucks.

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