April 10 was Siblings Day. The premise is, we only have our mothers and fathers for some of our lives but we have our siblings for much longer. Sometimes, for life.
Sibling relationships take many forms, and these relationships have always fascinated me, an only child who is mother to an only child. My husband, however, has several siblings, one of whom has autism. And, we together (for I partner with him in this, as in other aspects of our 36 odd years of marriage, although sometimes I wish I didn't have to) we have other aspects added to the special sibling relationship.
There is a man who has done a lot for siblings who have siblings with special needs - whether they are young children, teens, or adults. That man is Don Meyer and I can not praise him enough. Don has given voice to the "special sibs", through SibShops, through SibNet, through writing his books, from interviewing people in that life, to making their voices known. Nor can I say enough about the Sibling Support Project and encourage anyone shopping through Amazon to enter through their portal.
I respect anyone who founds and successfully runs a support organization, because I know how hard it is from personal experience. I am as introverted as they come, and my attempt did not succeed. Of course this is long before I had heard about Don.
I wrote Don once, and never got a response back - I know it got swallowed up in all his activities and I need to work on this on my own. But let's say I had a chance to meet Don. In our imaginary meeting:
Here's my question to you, Don: What about the unsung partners of all those "special sibs". Some sibs never marry because they are so frightened they will have a child like their sib. (Yes, I am going to say it. It's one of those elephants residing in the sibling living room.) Some never even form lasting relationships for fear of rejection. Others marry, but their partners don't care. Others have partners that do just as much, if even more, than the sibling himself or herself.
Those people need support too, Don, and today, reading about Sibling. The Sibling Support organization is a wonderful place for siblings to vent but, honestly, I don't feel like I belong there.
So maybe, Don, what I should do is create a "Sibs in Law" page on Facebook, one for the other support group in siblings' lives. For now, this blog is enough. So maybe I'd better get cracking and get my focus back here, which should be on Bil.