The relationship between siblings is sacred. Most of the time, in our family, the most memorable moments were not the serious ones. When our four kids were growing up, Gotchas were a sacred rite to the brothers and sister at our Shabbat dinner table. One of the kids would make a ridiculous statement. Something like: “You can do better on essay tests if you don’t study.” Next everyone would say something stupid about the topic, except for one unsuspecting victim—usually me or my husband David. Then one of the kids would start laughing and everyone yells, “Gotcha!”

How are bonds between brothers and sisters built? Is it strictly genetic? Does it come from a shared upbringing? Or is it a mixture of both? Ours is a blended family, different sets of genes among the two pairs of siblings that make the whole. Yet every combination of the four kids is equally as close. Our children met as pre-teens, the so-called formative years behind them, but they were clearly raised together. Not by two parents, but by three sets of six loving parents. Extra grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins influenced our kids from every direction. Jewish kids who got to experience Christmas and eat Thai Pad on Thanksgiving.

Family is the sacred connection that binds children and adults together— if you let it. When you shrug off wrong-doings, annoyances, and eliminate shouldas, it goes a long way to family harmony. Families aren’t serious. There’s always inside jokes, corny catch phrases, and laughing so hard you pee in your pants… What, I’m the only one?!!!

Like Mrs. Wolfson, I know if I wrote my ethical will today, I could say with absolute certainty, the three brothers and one sister who make up the Diamond kids, will always stay close. If my legacy turns out to be, that I inspired the next generations to hold their siblings as sacred, I will be happy. For all the jokes they share, and the times they stick together, I say: God bless. I am eternally grateful.


Our driveway is a lot for rental cars,
our basement a campsite:
blankets on couches,
air mattresses, sleeping bags.
Upstairs, the cacophony of catching up:
Look how the kids have grown!
How was the vacation?
Gee, I miss Gram.

Thank You for bringing us together.
Thank You for gathering us safely.
Thank You for this loud, unruly crowd:
My family, my heart.
Keep them in Your care,
for together or apart,
they sustain me.
Keep us from quarreling,
from raising old accusations and hurts.
We have so little time to love.
Please, help us make each moment
together a memory.



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