By Jennie Montgomery
Mother, wife, journalist, sister, daughter, cousin, friend.
Those nouns describe the way I view myself and the way others see me. They represent the roles I play in other people’s lives.
Like many mamas, I identify myself FIRST as a mother. I have been loving and raising my children for 22 years.
But my longest relationships go back to other children: my siblings!
I don’t remember life without Amy, and I clearly remember the day Richard came home from the hospital. They are my people.
We would pile into the same bed on Christmas Eve, worried that one of us might wake up and see Santa—and he wouldn’t leave anything! Our collective sleeping kept us accountable. We couldn’t risk one person ruining Christmas morning for ALL of us!
We played kickball in the front yard and fought over whose turn it was to sit up front. (Amy and Richard—I really did get carsick!)
And speaking of carsick, we all hated it when Mama piled us in the station wagon and drove up the old Saluda Grade to Ruth of Carolina. We would buy dresses and those slips with the pink rose at the center of the bust. (Richard did not get dresses, by the way. Poor kid, he endured all that misery for nothing!)
Now, we’re spread across the country, from Georgia to Idaho to Arizona, but we know in our hearts that we’ll always there for each other.
In the last few weeks I met a woman who has been looking for her brother for decades. She cries when she talks about the moment, 50 years ago, they were sent away from the courthouse with different families.
The emptiness she’s felt throughout her life is heartbreaking, never knowing what happened to her little brother.
She shared her story with me on WJBF-TV and guess what? She found her brother two days later in a town three hours away!
I was there when they saw each other for the first time, when they cried over childhoods spent apart…over memories never made.
I am happy for them as they begin their journey as siblings, and keenly aware of how fortunate I’ve been to have mine every step of the way.
That’s something I will never take for granted again, thanks to Audrey and Joey.
This article appears in the September 2015 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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