Ohana- Conversations with Siblings

What about Ohana? Dad says Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind….

Or Forgotten yeah yeah I know I hate it when you use Ohana on me.

It was a Monday in September of 82 when the golden hair girl came into the world (Of course the hair was very minimal at that stage and for the next 12 months or so). Her father looked down at her face to say how beautiful she was and she poked her tongue out at him. He laughed and passed her to her mother.  Her mother looked down into her face her own lined with the beginnings of age. This was not her first child….this was definitely her last and in that moment she couldn’t be happier. Birthing children 12 times over a 24 year period is exhausting to say the least.

The golden haired girl was conceived 8 years after her closest sibling the one who would become her confidante and best friend the one who would go on to have her own golden haired girl. 8 years to most was a considerable gap but her mother made sure to remind her she wasn’t a mistake but a suprise. A statement that brought little comfort to the golden haired girl given that she knew how much her mother hated suprises.

the movie watching sisters with dad shortly before he passed away

the movie watching sisters with dad shortly before he passed away

By the time the golden haired girl came about her 3 oldest siblings no longer lived at home. 2 had children before she was born, yes when she was born she was already an aunty. The oldest 2 sisters lived far away and she never got to see them much as she was growing up she loved them and loves them still but she is also aware that they don’t completely know each other either.

Her 3rd oldest sister was already an adult when she was born but the golden haired girl remembers her sister taking her to see movies at the RSL club- Drop Dead Fred 🙂 She remembers video days at her sisters house and the large brown lounge she had. She also remembers that it was this sister who drove her mum and her and youngest sister to the hospital on the fateful day when dad had passed away.

Her early years with her siblings were very simple Laugh, play , love but the golden haired girl learnt early that with the sweet comes the sour. She was 3 years old when the Police officers knocked on the front door looking for her mother who was at work at the time. Her father talked to them and her and her sisters went with him to pick her mother up from work. He took them to where the pelicans were. She was 3 years old when she learnt that sometimes police officers knock on the door to tell your mum that your 23 year old brother isn’t coming home, that sometimes big brothers are killed in accidents and go to heaven instead. The grown woman the little girl became struggled to write this paragraph, she doesn’t remember that day for which she is grateful (her sisters described the day to her) nor does she remember her eldest brother but she remembers the message, that those we love can be taken at any minute.

Her other 3 brothers were such a large part of her childhood and still fill her heart with love and affection. They are each such different individuals and yet each held the role of Superhero in her childhood somehow.

Her city living brother is the one with the kind heart and every Saturday after her father passed away he would show up after her dancing lessons and walk her into the next town to go bowling or to watch a movie. She would chatter away to him the whole way to Fairfield every week and he  listened and laughed and asked her questions. He made her feel like the most interesting person in the world. He is not in her physical life everyday as a grown up but he is always in her thoughts  and she loves that when she sees him he will always show her his wallet that has the clipping of her from when she was in the newspaper when she was 4.

most of the siblings...missing the 2 eldest sisters

most of the siblings…missing the 2 eldest sisters

Her baby brother (though he is still like 14 years older than she is) was captivated by his baby sister when she was born. He would get up for the early morning feeds with his mother and walk the little one around the house saying to her “Here is the bathroom this is where you will have a bath when you are older”. As she grows into the golden haired little girl he plays barbies with her and lets her go with him when he walks his dog. He talks to her about his life and he listens when she advises him. He treats her and her opinions like she is a grown up. He is not the man he thought he would be but she loves him still for the man he is.

Her oldest living brother amazes her with his strength and his tenacity for life. He has raised 2 sons to adulthood they are polite and respectful and funny. He battles illness everyday and takes pleasure in the beach which is practically in his backyard and spending time with his family. When he lived with the golden haired girl she was in awe of his height and the fact that he played guitar. He used to help her with her homework and took her to the zoo…as a child she loved him as a woman she loves and admires him.

typical family shot nobody looking the same way

typical family shot nobody looking the same way

Her very blonde sister is very opinionated and strong, an amazon of a woman and mother earth to her 5 boys whether they realise it or not. She is devoted to her family, and is the most domestic of all the siblings. She is abrupt and direct but it always comes from a place of love she really is happiest when surrounded by her family and would love to have them around her at all times.

The golden haired girls idol when she was young was her next sister her party sister. She was the one who got perms and wore tight jeans and white high heeled boots. She had bubble skirts, blue eyeliner and a top gun jumper she was cool which was ironic given that she had a fiery temper. Then one day she got married and had babies and the party girl faded into the background but she raises her head every now and then. The golden haired girl who is now the red haired lady is god mother to the party sisters son – a bond which connects her closer to her sister that and of course nobody else can rock it to the Footloose soundtrack quite like they can.

the 5 youngest sisters

the 5 youngest sisters

The netball playing sister didn’t take well to having a new sister when the golden haired girl was born she thought there was enough kids in the family already and her 9 and a half year brain hated the baby for it. Their childhoods were plagued with arguments something about the other just drove them crazy and so they would snip and snipe and bicker incessantly. They are similar in certain ways but in just as many ways they are polar opposites and share a love of history, travel and good food. Somewhere along the way of growing up and starting their own families they have found a mutual love and friendship and respect.

The youngest of her sisters (though still 8 years older than herself) is the one she has always been closest to. She was the golden haired girls protector, the one she shared a room with (and a bed whenever she had nightmares). They are able to have a conversation that is so fast and filled with that many pop culture references that it is only rivaled by the Gilmore Girls. Many have tried but none can truly keep up with them when they get going. It hasn’t always been roses though, there have been times when things have not gone well between them but that’s what sisterhood is ups and downs joined together by love.

What’s it like to be part of a large family? Loud! There are always 50 conversations going at once and everybody is in everybody else lives but she’ll keep them.

The red haired lady is proud to be part of her family, she is proud of the people that her siblings are and though like all big families there are times when nobody gets along and everyone is arguing she wouldn’t trade them. They will be there when things go bad, they are part of her, her blood and kin and part of the reason she is the woman that the golden haired girl grew up to be.

Linking up with the supportive and amazing Josefa at Always Josefa for Conversations over Coffee- Conversations with Siblings. Be sure to pop by and congratulate her on her first Blogaversary as well xx

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11 thoughts on “Ohana- Conversations with Siblings

  1. Family is most important …it’s what ties us altogether, even in bad times you know that if you need family they’ll be there no matter what.

  2. What a great story!!! You had me hooked in until the end. Full of good times and bad. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I love the opening quote too. I will definitely use that. Is Ohana a maori word or Hawaiian?

  3. Beautifully told. How lovely to have that sibling bond with so many! As an adoptee, I don’t share that bond with anyone, but luckily do get to witness it in action through watching my two children.

    Do tell what the newspaper clipping were?

    • awwww thanks Kate 🙂 They had opened a new pool in Fairfield and the local newspaper sent out to take photos for their issue and there it was me and my pal Stevie (I wonder what happened to her) the 2 blonde kids laying down in the shallow end with big smiles on our faces 🙂

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