Ebony & Ivory

We learn to live, we learn to give each other what we need to survive together alive. - Paul McCartney

I'm burned out.

Firstborn, middle born, last born, only child, or twin.

How two people that come from the exact same parents can be so completely opposite of one another is baffling to me.

In my sister and my case, I blame our age difference.

For as long as I could remember, I wished for a little sister and then when I turned 11, my wish came true.
And before you ask, my sister was completely planned; the 11 year age difference and everything. My mother even had her IUD removed in order to conceive her. TMI?

My parents were no strangers to age gaps; there were 13 years between my father and his eldest brother and eight between him and his middle brother. There were six years between my mother and her brother.

Whenever my parents were asked why they waited so long to have another child, the response was that they wanted to be more financially stable. Fair enough, I suppose. I didn't care, I finally had what I had always wanted.

I remember every detail of the day my sister was born. It was magical and hectic and so exciting. Up until the birth of my own son, it was one of the best days of my life and nothing can compare to being old enough to witness the joy and pride in my parents over the new addition to our family. It was written all over their faces for the nine months leading up to Leah's arrival and it was understood that our household would never be the same.

As I was entering high school, she was starting kindergarten.

As I graduated from college, she was struggling with her math homework.

As I was going through a divorce, she was buying a prom dress.

As I was busy building a career, she was trying to figure out what her major would be in college.

As I was a newlywed for a second time and she had just graduated from college, we both lost our parents.

As I was preparing to have a baby, she was trying to start her career.

It's sad to think that our lives will never catch up to each other and while we may experience some of the same things years a part, it was only with the deaths of our parents that they were derailed at the exact same time. Only we know what it feels like to go through something like that. Our memories of our parents are different in some ways, but our love and loss is shared.

While Leah was in college, our parents still lived and worked overseas so I became, for lack of a better term, her surrogate mother. This is not a role that I have ever been completely suited for nor enjoy all that much.

Never the less, I answered the phone in the early morning hours, waited for the texts they said she landed safely, replied to the numerous questions about growing up, life after living under your parents roof and members of the opposite sex and
offered advice, whether solicited or not over money management, career opportunities and portraying a positive, wholesome image. I did this through her four years of college and still do it now.

I'm tired of being the older sister.

I have my own child now.

I'm burned out.

Over the years we have shared many laughs and good times. We've gotten more than a little pissed off at one another, especially lately.

We are true sisters and I love Leah with all my heart.

After 26 years later, while I can't imagine my life without my sister in it, I honestly believe that the 11 years between us has been detrimental and I can't help but wonder how our relationship would be different, better even if we were closer in age.

My sister and I are in need of a long, heart-to-heart, an open, honest, most likely with raised voices, possibly four letter words and maybe even some tears conversation. I'm dreading it, but it's overdue.

I feel a tremendous amount of pressure and responsibility.

I want to redefine my role.

I'm burned out.

This post is for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop - Prompt #1: Why are your burned out?

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