Today is Siblings Day. Our relationships with brothers and sisters are the longest—and often the most complex—we have. I was lucky to be a middle child. Depending on my mood, I could join Richard in forming large battalions with his green plastic Army men or sneak sugar from the kitchen in order to stage an elaborate, imaginary high tea with Mary.
This photo is undated, but I’m guessing we were 3, 5, and 7. Richard’s knees are banged up, I seem very pleased with my perch on that tricycle, and Mary is keeping her distance and her eye on the ball, perhaps wanting to separate a bit from us.
Of course we couldn’t know then that we wouldn’t grow old together, that Mary would be taken from us.
My friend and colleague Kristen Spalding understands the grief of losing a sibling—her sister Allie died at 12 of leukemia. Kristen formed Allie’s Helping Hands, a nonprofit organization that provides support for siblings of ill children by arranging days of play and fun.
Here, Kristen tells about her passion and empathy that led her to create Allie’s helping hands:
Call or hug your sibs today. If you know a family who has an ill child with siblings, tell them about Allie’s Helping Hands.