How she came back to me


The Photography Shoppe

The Randall family on Lake Okoboji.

Baily Plourde, Staff Writer

A picket fence and brightly colored front door do not in any way correctly encompass the genre my family falls into. There are no nightly family dinners around the dining table or strict rules prohibiting the use of foul language. We’re an odd band, almost accidental. My father likes to describe us as the new generation’s Brady Bunch. It’s cheesy and very much dad-joke like; however, it’s not exactly wrong. 

The relationship between my parents and I is nothing short of exceptional. They’re my inspirations, the reason I better myself every day. Along with being an outstanding daughter, I’m also a very loving sister to my very kind-souled brother. We grew up together, faced the same challenges, walked the same path. Nothing will ever change that. And then there’s my sister. This one is different because I can remember a time without her in my life. A time where I wondered the possibilities of what having a sister is like.

Our relationship began at a young age; I believe I was around three years old. Her father with my mother. It was all so new and untouched. Nobody knew what would come of not only two young girls suddenly being forced to live together, but then add four boys, all within a year of each other as well. It was some of the most thrilling nine months of my childhood. Being so young, you don’t think I would remember much; however, every dip in the pool, morning walks to school strutting around my fake baby, and the ever so special Randall Family Races are all hovering around in the portion of my brain that stores joy. As a parent though, you are supposed to keep the children unaware and oblivious to all harm and trouble this world has to offer. This became clear to us all as a half-a-country-sized wall was shoved between me and my newfound best friends.

We didn’t speak for 10 years. It went down how many custody court cases do and it became difficult for us all to remain in contact. For 10 entire years, I had a sister that was not only a missing piece of my life but a forgotten relationship and role model. 

Until one night, in the middle of November. As I laid in my bed, a face I had not seen in nearly a decade appeared unannounced and most definitely unexpectedly. Don’t tell her this, but it took me a second to even recognize the person standing before me. I was in total and complete shock. That entire night resulted in getting to know each other. My biggest surprise was the absence of the effect the time gap had on our relationship at all. When I say getting to know each other, I don’t mean asking her favorite color. Her personality resembled kindness and the shape of her face surrounded a love I had not felt in so long. I got to know her smile and the feeling of her affection. My sister was here, and I was not letting her go.

Keep in mind that she had flown to her long lost family in the middle of her senior year of high school. For some, they would be unaffected, yet, for my adoring sister, it was something like a mid-life crisis. She spent about six months completely reinventing our knowledge of who she really was. These moments with her were nothing short of dramatic, to say the least. However, they soon fell to sorrow and regret as she knew she had to leave. Again. Leaving the family in her hometown with no goodbye and no final sendoff into the world of the unknown was not the correct way for her or her mental health to properly uncover an entirely new aspect of her life.

She was gone. Reality had shifted and my entire experience not only having a sister but becoming one, now was seemingly one big fever dream. My heart cracked and my head seemed to be unreliable like my sister was a lie all along. History does indeed repeat itself, because, yet again, we lost contact. Eventually, I came to my senses and put our relationship before my wounded emotions. This was not an easy task for me, mostly because my trust had just been stomped on and chucked out the window. Yet, I assume it wasn’t exactly easy for her either. 

As time went by, my anger vanished and the longing for her affection soon took its place. Several months later, after she had graduated, I was pleasantly surprised by her face, yet again. It was my birthday this time, and I promise you it was the best birthday ever. The vulnerability it took for me not only to let her back into my life but back into my heart is what I appreciate most about the evolution of our relationship.