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  • Writer's pictureJulie Gross

A Summer of Gratitude - I’m grateful for my sister and brother

If you haven’t been following along with me this summer, I’ll let you in on this journey I’ve been on called “A Summer of Gratitude.” I am writing my blog posts this summer about things I am grateful for. I’ve written about my husband and my mom and dad, and this week, I’m writing about my siblings. Mmmwwwhahaha–insert evil laugh here! Oh, I wonder if my sister and brother are nervous about what I’ll write about! Aren’t siblings supposed to be ornery to each other? Well, I have some stories to share, but really, I just want to share how thankful I am that God gave me these two crazy twins to be my big brother and big sister!


My sister and brother were born in 1962, eleven years before me, so I was the baby of the family. My parents didn’t know they were having twins, so bringing home two babies was quite a surprise that I can’t even fathom! The story goes that my grandma (my mom’s mom) who was an RN thought that my mom was going to have twins as she heard two heart beats. Now, my grandma didn’t tell my mom and dad as she wasn’t completely sure, but she made sure the doctor knew in the labor/delivery room after my sister was born, when she said, “Doctor, there’s another baby coming!” What a blessing to have two babies! When my mom finally realized what happened, she said to my dad, “What are we going to do with two babies?” My dad was a pretty laid-back guy, who didn’t let much overwhelm him, and he replied with, “The same thing we would do with one baby!” So, they took the twins home and figured out how to be parents to two babies!


I mentioned that I am eleven years younger than my siblings, so they were pretty excited to have a baby sister! It was a lot of fun growing up with an older sister and an older brother, and there are many stories to tell. My brother used to think it was fun to show how brave I was to his friends, and I remember jumping off of our roof for him to catch me. Now, don't panic--it was a one-story house, so it wasn’t too high; plus, it was the 1970s, and we did some crazy things back then! I also remember riding with my brother on his motorcycle around the neighborhood, with our poodle, Windsor, trailing behind us!  There were times we picked on my sister–in fact, we used to make her mad quite often. We would tie firecrackers to her door and the closet, so when she shut the door, the firecracker would scare her and make her holler! There are so many fun memories!


My brother found his forever-vocation when he was in his late 20s, and he realized he wanted to be a mechanic for airplanes. He’s now in his 60s, and he still loves it! I’ve learned a lot from my brother, but one specific thing is that we should find what we’re good at and what we enjoy doing, and then go for it. In fact, “Go for it,” are the words I most associate with my brother. My brother lives clear out in Washington state, so we don’t get to see him as much as I’d like, but when we do, it’s always like old times. However, at 51, I don’t jump off the roof anymore!


When I was younger, I think I probably irritated my sister. I remember she used to babysit me and a friend of mine, and whenever we would tattle on each other, she’d pin a tail to the backs of our shirts, and call us “tattle tails.” Now looking back, that was a genius idea! I hated it at the time, but it did curtail the tattling! As we’ve grown older, we’ve grown very close. My sister’s son is only 12 years younger than I am, so when he was growing up, we were almost like siblings. Then years later, my sister had a daughter, and she is only two years older than my oldest son, so my niece and my two boys are very close. We have spent almost every Christmas with my sister and her family since Geoff and I were married.


My sister is the most generous and most selfless person I have ever met–she puts everyone’s needs before her own, and that came out so beautifully when we found out my mom had cancer. From the kitchen to the laundry to the activities’ department to being a CNA, my sister has held almost every position in a nursing home, and she is amazing with older people. It is a gift from God, and she was amazing when my mom got sick. It was during Covid, and because of that, I was able to go to Wyoming to live with my mom and to help my sister take care of her. I thank God every day for my sister and the blessing that she was for our family during that difficult time.


There are some siblings in the Bible that had difficult relationships: Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and all of his brothers. But I am blessed to have siblings I can trust and count on; I love them deeply, and I thank God for them! Psalm 9:1 says, “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” Thank you, Lord, for my brother and sister and for all of the memories we share growing up together! There truly is something special about the bond we have with our siblings!


Here are some pictures I want to share:


Here is a picture of my sister and brother when they were little.


This picture was taken in August 2023 at my niece’s wedding. This was a glorious day of celebration! From left to right: my brother, me, my sister.


This was taken in the summer of 2020 at my mom’s apartment when she was fighting gallbladder cancer. From left to right: me, my brother, my sister.


Thank you, friends, for following along with me this summer as I talk about things I am grateful for. 


Love,

Julie




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Scoheewiggins
6 days ago

I thought I wrote a comment to you, but I don’t know if I did it right or not … so anyway that was an awesome. “Awesome” telling of one of your lLife Blessings!! Walt & I are so Greatful & BLESSED to have you as our Lil Sis… it was like You were & still are , the Frosting to our Cake!! Your Sweet , Soft, Beautiful, Fluffy, Irresistible, Delightful , Heavenly, & Enjoyed by All!! I’m So Proud to be your big Sis!!!

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