My Distant Sibling
By the time I started having keeper memories (around 7), Maudie was a young adult and ready to move off to college. She left home as I was just becoming aware of myself as an individual. So, I really did not know her much at all. I only felt her as a presence in the family dynamics.
Things could have easily continued along this path — Maudie and I distant relatives within the same nuclear family. Not friends, not sharing many experiences other than the occasional family gathering. We might never really had gotten to know each other.
However, fate intervened. I decided to go to Oklahoma City University for college, as both Maudie and Mona did. (To be honest, I had many great choices around the country, as I was a damn good student, but I really did not want to go that far from home.) As it happened, Maudie was still living in OKC, studying to be a medical doctor at the University of Oklahoma health campus. She became an anchor for me, especially in my early years at school — a presence of family. We went to the symphony, cooked meals together occasionally, even went to bars, once I was of age. (Turns out, Maudie did not share my unnaturally high tolerance to alcohol. 😊)
She was around for a good chunk of my undergraduate years. By the end of that overlap in Oklahoma City, she and I had become good friends. I learned to appreciate her strength and priority on family. And, I believe she learned to see my strengths (and weaknesses) as well.
We are not at all distant anymore! (I am so happy to say!)