Monday, September 11, 2006

Self-Portrait Challenge: with others ~ My Siblings

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Oh, my sisters (Suzie on the left & Shannon on the right) are probably going to laugh when they see this picture. I think my brother (Jason, in the middle) will just feel relieved that he buried his face in his hands for this shot! This picture was taken by my Mom for an assignment in art school to create an album cover.

This month's Self-Portrait Challenge is "with someone." Here I are some of the most special people in my life. I am the oldest of 4 kids and that has a huge impact on who I have become. I've been a caretaker and a confidante. I've been a shoulder to cry on and a cheerleader. I've changed diapers, made dinners and flipped pancakes. I've been a babysitter and an entertainment coordinater. Mostly I hope I've been a good sister.

The bond between the siblings in our family became tight, tight, tight, when our parents' marriage started falling apart. We were each other's sanctuary. Together we shared our fear and pain or escaped from it. For a while one of the options on the table was even that the four of us would end up living together on our own. At the time, that seemed ideal.

And now?

Suzie and I live far across the country from each other. Thank goodness for email and digital pictures. Blogging has been such a gift because we can follow each other's adventures in this way. She's a deeply spiritual and strong woman with passionate views and a caring heart. She's a nature girl with a love of the ocean and a connection to animals. She's a gifted photographer, poet, writer and artist. She has found great love with her husband, a wonderful man.

My brother, Jason, is in the same province but miles away. I still remember when my mom found out she was pregnant with him. My best friend and I jumped up and down on the pull-out couch because we were so excited by the news. He was such a happy baby, full of love and joy. I adored him on sight. Now he's dedicated to his doctoral studies and to his writing. Recently he had a great speculative piece published in an Australian magazine. He has real gift, and everyone who knows him will say he's also got an awesome sense of humour.

And I'm blessed that my youngest sister, Shannon, and I live in the same city. In fact we've often lived together. She was full of beans from the moment she arrived and remains so to this day. She always wanted to be involved in everything, and if she wanted attention, well, she just sat in your lap. (Um, don't ask me if she still does that now, lol) All grown up, she's a dynamic woman full of talent and overflowing with an infectious laugh. She can run rings around numbers and loves lists, film, fashion and potatoes. And she makes kick-butt stuffed mushrooms.

I feel so lucky to have these creative, smart, sensitive, supportive people in my life. If it's true that we pick our families, dang I did a great job with these guys!


Judi said...

I haven't visited here for a while ... I forgot what I was missing! Strangely enough, I was thinking that I needed to clarify birth order with Suzie ... it's easier for me to understand relationships when I know that (have no idea why) AND ... you happened to mention it yourself!

Anonymous said...

cool picture! how old is it?
i love what you shared about your siblings.
i am one of 4 also, and most of us are close.

but i have to ask...
does "full of beans" means that she came out

i need coffee!!

Deb R said...

That photo is hilarious! I really liked reading about your relationship with your brother and sisters.

Loralee Choate said...


The photo makes me want to see you all in a reality television show.

Mrs. Spencer said...

Wicked fun photo!

melba said...

I stared for a while at this one. So funny and interesting and telling...
Love your lovely post about your siblings. I feel the same about mine.
It is funny how many things we have similiar in our lives!

Anonymous said...

Had to emerge as a lurker to say I love this photo. So much fun. I read Shannon's blog, too and I can see both of your personalities fully developed in this photo. love it, love it, love it.

Shannon said...

Great pic and post Jamie! It was always fun to help out with Mom's projects! I'm not even sure I have a pic of the four of us... at least not recently!

swampgrrl... as for full of beans I think she means full of energy! At least I hope so!`

Georgia said...

Family photo shoots always end up somewhat like this at my house... LOVE IT!!!

Unknown said...

Hi Jamie,
I love this photo, partly because I can recognize some of you, but more because it captures the airtight bond between siblings. I am one of six. One of us passed five years ago. We have tightened the circle incredibly since then. Thanks for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

Awesome picture!

Anonymous said...

love hearing about the bonds between siblings. isn't it cool that blogging *works* to keep those bonds alive even when we live apart and aren't able to spend time together.

Suzie Ridler said...

I hadn't seen this version before! At least not in a very long time. I love the image of us, how we always pull together to help each other out and it was fun to play dress up with each other as young adults.

You've been many things to us Jamie and an amazing sister is definitely one of them! I'm so grateful that we had each other and think that we make an amazing loving team.

Anonymous said... have no proof that was me. I think I was sick that day. After being spending the day selling poisoned milk to school children. Disguised as a priest. In hell.

And, no, that is not just a nice story. Heh.


Jamie said...

I just have to say it was SO worth posting this pic because my brother showed up! Hi, jsr!