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Rene's Story

Rene explains how she feels being the eldest sister of her siblings. She talks through how an experience with her brother brought their relationship together.

Rene's Story
00:00 / 03:59

So my first question is what was your role as the eldest self out eldest sister?

Well, I'm the oldest of four. And let's see, I have a sister who's two and a half younger, two and a half years, three years younger than I am. And then another. I had a brother and a sister seven years younger than I am. So we were the girls and twins. That's what we refer to as we were growing up. It was wonderful. It's really a position of privilege. And it's also burden. It was also burdensome. I was a lot was expected of me in terms of helping my mom take care of the other three, she was a woman who was viewed as sickly, and I was capable, and I was smart. And I was willing, because I just wanted those parents to walk me into an audit to get me what I wanted to care those kids in January of 2019, my brother, her twin died, my brother died, he had cancer. And for the last three months of his life, the three sisters we're very close family, almost too close. Sometimes we were almost too close sometimes. My three sisters and I went to Florida and took care of him in his in his medical needs were complicated. And three of us just took on what we were best at. My sister Joanne, the youngest one, his twin is good at organizing shows, she would organize things. And everything was very organized. The medications were organized, our schedules were organized. My sister Marina who loves loves, loves animals. She's such a tender hearted woman. Well, my brother had 180 pound English master. And the dog ate only raw food because my brother was very fussy about what his dogs eat. And Marina, we prepare my sister is two and a half years younger, she would really take care of moose ducks name was moose. And she would feed him and make sure he was water bowls. I mean, Moose was a lot of work. It was like having another child and did things that were more around the emotional caretaking of my brother and made sure that every time he left his bed and came out into the main area, and he had this television screen, which was like, like a sports bar television screen, it was huge. And he would come and sit on the couch and blare it out. And I made sure that every time he came out and sat down, loose was on one side of him in a sister, any one of us, no matter what was going on, one of us had to be sitting next to him, like holding his hand or leaning up against what I leaned up against him. I really wanted him to feel and know our presence and our love was very, very moving. It was such a gift to be with him at the end such a gift and in many ways it both is in a funny way it bonded us the three sisters. It bonded us in a way nothing else could have done. And it also gave us some freedom from each other because I grew up in this enmeshed family, family that just to leave the family was felt like sometimes an act of betrayal to go to college felt for me like an act of betrayal. Somehow after Mark step, having had this very intense experience. We found our freedom to be more of who we were, as individuals.

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