When I thought about who inspires me, I immediately thought of the two strongest women in my life – my mum & my big sister.. so today I’m going to be writing about my sister.It’s hard to put into words just how much my sister has been an inspiration to me. She might even be shocked at this confession.
- She has raised 4 amazing kids, through some VERY tough times.
- Despite everything she’s been through over the years, she refuses to be the victim
- She is a fantastic grandma (Dramma) to her very gorgeous grandkids.
- She has moved to a new city and has changed her life in so many ways.
- She has put in so many hours over too many years to count in order to research our family history.
- She cares about her family and would pretty much do anything for them.
My sister was about 14 years old when I was born. She was the 2nd oldest of 8 children & I was the youngest… there were only the two of us girls, the rest were all boys. She has told me that she use to walk me around the neighbourhood in my pram. At one point I was adamant that she was my real mum – which is not to take anything away from my actual mum because she is freaking awesome in her own right.
I was about 2 years old when my sister had her first child – yes if you did the math you will know she was very young when she had my niece. She got married not long afterwards. As a result I didn’t really get to know her as my sister – she was my niece’s mum and my niece was my best friend (except for the time I hated her and didn’t want her to come to my birthday parties anymore, but that’s another story for another day!).
Over the years she had a further 3 children (two girls & two boys in total); divorced her first husband; moved to a tiny town on New Zealand’s West Coast, re-established her life and then married my now brother-in-law. I am not going to go into detail of everything that my sister had to go through in the preceding years because a) I don’t really know the full details and b) it’s not really fair to my sister to reveal those things (she’s probably going to be horrified enough by some of these photos!). But I will tell you that her kids were little shits – and I don’t think any of them would disagree 😀 But they have all grown into amazing adults, with 3 of them now having families of their own.
When I was growing up, because my sister was 14 years older than me, we didn’t really ‘hang out’. As a teenager I would go over to ‘The Coast’ with my dad, to visit my sister & her family. But she was always be my older sister – not my friend.
This changed in 2010 when I decided that I wanted to finally go to England. My sister, who had been doing the family history for years and years, decided she wanted to come with too. This would be the first time we spent any length of time together, just the two of us.
We had a brilliant time in Old Blighty. We spent about 10 days in London, each doing our own thing for part of it and getting together for other things. We caught up with our niece living there plus an old friend and a new one. We wandered the streets of London, both of us feeling completely at home. Then we rented a car and spent 8 days based down in Exeter – not far from where some of my dad’s family hails from. Each day we would do a road trip somewhere, stopping at small villages and big towns. After our time in England, we had 3 days in Paris to end the trip with.
I think that was when my sister stopped being just my sister or my niece’s mum.. but also became my friend.