Friday, April 29, 2016

The Wecker Five - On Our Sibling Tattoo and It's Greater Meaning

My best friends are my siblings.

As we get older, I am more aware that our relationship is rare.

So many people have so much distance in their family and have a different experience of what siblings are to each other.  For me, every time we get together, it is coming home.  Should my parents ever leave their physical house entirely, those people will still feel like home (although the house they live in is magical and I should write about that for the world to hear).    I cry every time I leave my family, and I cannot help myself.  They make me feel like me.  Isn’t nostalgia an amazing force?! It's more than that though right?  It is a spiritual connection in a way.  We are tied to our family in such a unique compilation of emotions.  Putting it to words almost feels wrong, like there is no way to describe the force that exists between family. 

Our parents love us more than I can comprehend and brought us up in church with Christian schooling, ballet, drama, and athletics across the board.  Ups and downs with death and new life, heartbreak and victories, celebrations and defeats, our family went through it all.  Really hard times and really beautiful times.  Times that we were united and times when we were torn apart.  When I think about it, I am amazed that we are as close as we are.  What would have torn others apart really brought us closer.   Does everyone get overwhelmed thinking about their family story?  As we add new members through marriage and birth I am constantly amazed that my heart can expand because it always feels at capacity with the amount of love I have for each and every one of my family members.

Most of you know us, but I’ll give you our rundown just to be sure we are all on the same page.  Christian and I are twins, and the oldest of the “Wecker Clan”.  Stephen came 1 year and 50 weeks later.  Faith was 2 and a half years later and Joy was 2 years and few months after Faith.  The boys are on the East Coast (Pittsburgh and Baltimore), and the girls are on the West Coast (Long Beach and Anaheim).  I pray for a day where we are all in the same place at the same time.  I am not sure how or when, but I know my parents pray for the same thing.  However, during this season of life (which is now going on 10 years for me in California), we rely heavily on Facetime, text messaging and phone calls to feel together.  

I cannot recall exactly when the idea of a “Sibling tattoo” was first dreamed up, but I know it has been an evolving process for quite some time.  At first it was going to be a 5 (or some rendition there of – tally marks, Roman numerals, etc…).  Where we landed was five dots, and the order you are in the sibling order is filled in.  Everyone put their’s in a different place, and mine is the only one on my foot, but I honestly feel so connected every single time I look at that tattoo.  It reminds me of a bond that exists between 5 people as we are now, adults who grew up together.

Adult siblings is a new world for all of us that demands respect and grace in new ways.  While inevitable conflict exists, as we navigate these new waters, I think that we are the strongest we have ever been.  We know what sacrifice is, recognize strengths and weaknesses, are learning daily about love, are learning to respect each others differences, are growing to understand that faith involves theology and that we can share faith and disagree on the theological aspects.  My siblings are intelligent, faithful, intellectual and creative individuals.  I am amazed that God chose me to walk through life with them and if my tattoo could speak, it would tell you all those things, every day, for the rest of my life.

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