A few weekends ago, while we were at my parents' home, my oldest child asked me if I had a sister. I wasn't quite sure how to answer her. Yes, I do have a sister, and I've had her for 33 years. But no, we don't see each other and we don't speak to each other.
This post is hard to write, for a few reasons. It forces me to admit that not all is perfect in our family, that I'm not perfect at relationships and that something is broken that can or may never be fixed.
I guess we were close when we were younger. We are all two or three years apart, and there were four of us in an average-sized house. I know we fought, argued and sometimes irritated the crap out of each other. But we were siblings. I also know that we helped each other and stood up for each other when needed.
The first relationship strain was between my youngest brother and me. When I was pregnant with my first child, he was separating from his wife. I'm sure that the strain of both situations played a part, and we haven't spoken in more seven years. He has never met my children, nor have I ever met his son, who is four days younger than my own.
I have never been exceptionally close with my other brother. Not that there's anything wrong there, yet he's not one to make an effort. He's not a fan of social media, so it's not a viable means of keeping in touch. He's not one to return a phone call or initiate one. There comes a point when you can no longer put in the effort if it's not reciprocated.
And then there's my sister. Almost eight years younger than me, she and I weren't exceptionally close growing up, but became closer in adulthood. A strained argument over the phone over something (I consider) to be of no consequence later, and we haven't spoken in two years.
She lives out of the country and I rarely saw her before our separation. Despite texts and phone calls, there was no communication from her. At some point, you need to let go.
I watch my kids together, the way they play, fight and argue. And yet I know that above all else, they love each other. I've seen the way my oldest will defend her younger sister on the playground when she thinks she's being wronged. And I see the way that my son worries when one of the girls isn't with us.
I cry to think of a day when they care so little about each other that they don't talk, refuse to speak or even see each other. By the time they reach adulthood they will have shared so many memories and will have a shared history.
I want them to want to gather with my husband and I, as well as with their own families. I want them to love and support one another, and although they may not get along all the time, look forward to our shared times together.
When I was upset recently over finding out that my siblings had all gotten together last summer, a friend told me that at some point you may just have to let go of the things you can't change.
And I guess this is my way of letting go. There are some things that you can't change, and nearing 40 with another baby on the way, I only have time to focus my energies on so much. I desperately hope my children never have to do the same.
About the author: Melissa Reynolds is a Toronto-based freelance writer who has written extensively for many local publications and websites. She is a regular contributor to Her Magazine. In what down time she has, Melissa enjoys reading, Second Cup Chocolate Chillers and family time in the city with her husband, two young daughters and baby son.
Follow HuffPost Canada Blogs on Facebook
MORE ON HUFFPOST: