One day, as I sat down with another fellow engineer working on a project, he bragged about his life made easy by owning an iPad. “I don’t think I can spend $600+ to buy myself an iPad,” I murmured. “Why is that?” my fellow engineer asked. “I’d rather buy it for someone else. A smartphone and a laptop PC are more than enough for me”, I added. “Do you have kids?” he went on. “Yes. No”, I immediately changed my mind. “My siblings are like my children. I actually instead bought an iPad for my brother.” I concluded. I told him that I treat my siblings as my own children, sparing him the story behind my joy and strength. He was perplexed. He walked few feet to announce to people around us, puzzled by how someone can love their siblings as her own children. He couldn’t believe it. “I cannot believe it either.” I quietly whispered to myself.
Although I’ve never been married and do not yet have children of my own, I couldn’t feel more maternal than if I had given birth to Eric, Alice & Mireille. I can relate to every good thing parents boast about their kids. If you asked me how it happened, I would honestly tell you that I am not sure. All I know is that every cute purse I spot when I make a trip to the shopping mall once in a great while (I never enjoyed shopping anyway) looks cute on Alice or Mireille. Any electronic device that embeds the latest technology features and sophisticated operating systems, high speed processors etc. would be perfect for Eric. He is extremely brilliant and working with electronic devices is his hobby to begin with. Don’t get me wrong, I dress up appropriately I promise. And I buy myself things. Well, only those I really need and after my children are all set.
When the iPhone 4 first came out (June 2010), I asked my siblings for a permission to buy one for myself. It’d cost me $200 plus a two-year contract. It was the most luxury spending I had ever done, besides a vehicle. Each of them already owned a smartphone that I had bought for them. Nonetheless, I felt egoistic. My siblings were overwhelmed with emotions to such a request. I rarely see my brother getting emotional, and this certainly was one of those occasions. I simply grew up not only to be a big sister, but a mother, just like my birth mom, with a heart that grows bigger and wider for her children she loves with all her heart and mind.
My siblings are the best answered prayer I will ever boast about. They are my uncontested crown. When I have children of my own at some point in life, the love I will have for them will be different, I believe. Besides birthing them after spending 9 months caring and loving a child you have never met, you are legally obligated and financially responsible for your children. As for my siblings, I am under no obligation, not even a final request from my parents. All I count on is the love I inherited from my parents’ lives cut short. This is why I believe, without a shadow of doubt, that God instilled in me the love I have for the greatest friends, an amazing man and two beautiful women that anyone would wish to have in their lives. They make my life worthwhile, they are my treasure.
My siblings’ happiness make my heart pound faster than the norm, their success I can boast out loud if I could manage to climb the tallest mountain top overlooking the universe. Their love heals my broken heart. Being many miles away from them is the toughest life decision I had ever had to make. They worth more than everything I will ever treasure. Even if I had to do it all over again, I would simply take it from where my parents left off, when these three were all under 10 years old. I wouldn’t change a thing. Even if it meant a sacrifice and struggle for their well-being, I’d do it in a blink of an eye. If love means putting others before myself, I humbly want to learn it and expect nothing in return!
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins” 1 Peter 4:8