Okay, ya got me crying with the Forgiveness posts. Perhaps because it hit home so closely.
My sister and I had grown apart in high school. I'll even go so far as to say there was immense annimosity towards one another. However, it all stemmed from our mother pitting us against one another. Most often she would support my sister while I received the brunt of her anger. I now realize her behavior was done primarily out of jealousy for the close relationship I had with my dad. We did lots of things together and it made her angry so she overcompensated by putting a wedge between my sister and I. She also drove a wedge between my sister and my dad although I don't think that was her intent. Although I sometimes would wonder since she frequently told me I was an accident (my brothers were 8 & 10 when I was born) and they had to have my sister to keep me from being a spoiled brat... but I turned out to be one anyway.
My sister and I had maintained a distant relationship over the years although we lived in different states. We got together several years ago and began to catch up on each other's lives. I wanted her to be part of my children's lives. I learned so much about her and had missed out on so much by being out of the home for college, the military and marriage while she remained for 3 more years. In talking, however, we were able to understand why our mother acted as she did. She still does things seemingly to pit us against each other still. The difference now is that we understand and often even joke about it... at times.
I had accepted a new job and we were in the process of moving to be closer to my sister when my son was killed, followed two days later by the death of our dad. I could never have made it through those days... weeks... even now if it hadn't been for my sister. She took care of all the arrangements and handled everything regarding my son and most of that for my dad, as well. She continues to be pillar of strength to me... I love her so much and am so glad we have gotten closer. My children adore her. The regret we both share is that she hadn't gotten a chance to know my son very well before he died. However, I am certain he watches over her too... as does our dad.
The fact that we were able to forgive each other for the things we did or said to each other growing up was very healing for us both. I believe my sister has even forgiven our mother. I, on the other hand, have tried and have succeeded to some extent, but there is a ways to go...