Mackenzie Rollins | Weblog


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To this point, that’s how many days Darc has been alive. She’s two years younger than me. The youngest of us three. Family dynamics consistently changed, as did emotions. A Rollinscoaster of love. Darc and Derek. Derek and me. Me and Darc. One of us down in the dumps. Another high in the sky. One right brain. The other left. I take pictures for a living. Darc works in an immunology lab at UT Southwestern. Not hard to guess which apple falls where.

She and I have never been the you’re the ying to my yang kind of sisters. One of us would pursue the other, but never consistently or simultaneously.


We were kind of in different worlds growing up. My reality was outside. Hers, inside. While she was learning all there is to know about the genetic makeup of endangered wolves, I was outside seeing how close I could get to becoming endangered by recklessly getting my hands into anything and everything. Darc, quiet and calm. Not one to make much of a fuss. Me, a 24-hour emotional megaphone. Darc, tall with long beautiful limbs. Me, soccer thighs ’nuff said.


We enjoyed each other growing up, but to a point. Shared a pink-bow-bordered bedroom for eleven years. Threw pillows at the stupid chirping parakeets at night. Woke up to the even stupider chirping parakeets in the morning. Cleaned poop off of our dolls who were sadly stored beneath, you guessed it, the stupidest chirping parakeets.

The connection, the closeness between us was always stunted. Kind of like those tribal babies who have boards smashed atop their malleable skulls to make them flat. Stunted from growing properly. Misshapen. A bit awkward and unnatural.

Stunted by? Well, there were many factors. I was opinionated and tried to mother her. I wanted so badly for her to learn from my stupidity so that she didn’t have to make similar mistakes. I wanted her to like sports like me. I wanted her to be scooped up. I wanted to scoop. I … I … I …And she. Well, she wanted to be her own person. To learn from her own mistakes. To not live in my shadow, or be forced to by its looming presence. To learn about animals and science while I studied people and art.


I had good intentions as an older sister, but intentionality only goes so far when done out of willpower rather than grace. Obligation rather than love. Resentment rather than desire. I often failed to see her side of things. To make the effort to understand her passions, desires, hopes big and small.

It’s just so hard to make the effort to understand someone, or to even want to try. And yet, I’m not sure there’s anything more important in the world. To be misunderstood by those who love you might be the most painful thing in the world.

I’ve misunderstood Darc for much of my life.


The beautiful thing about relationship is that change and growth and movement are possible. We were made for relationship, but it takes work and boatloads (or birdcages) of prayer. Especially with family.

I’ve now been home for three weeks and Darc and I have had such a rich time together. I feel we’ve come to a place of finally getting each other. That a newer and deeper understanding exists on both sides, as evidenced by seemingly small but significant moments… Knowing glances shared…Clasped hands under the dinner table… Kisses on cheeks when words just won’t do… Or, or …

There are more, but it’s not all for you to know.

I often wished I could change the level of closeness we had growing up. But in the past few weeks, I’ve realized I wouldn’t change any of it. The understanding and enjoyment now is that much richer because of knowing where we’ve been. The valleys of misunderstanding are narrowing. Light is creeping into the darkness which once was. The cracks, filled in. The laughter, more contageous. Hugs, tighter. Bathroom chats, chatchatchattier.


Siblings. Opposites. Head-butting females turned friends.

Goodbye for now. I love you Darc.


Written by Mackenzie Rollins

September 8, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

12 Responses

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  1. i love you so

    the hand holder

    September 8, 2009 at 9:49 pm

  2. So beautiful! I wish I had a sister.


    September 9, 2009 at 4:03 am

  3. That was well written! makes me want to go call my sisters! Thanks for spurring me on đŸ™‚

    Haley Thomas

    September 9, 2009 at 5:12 am

  4. This makes me want to go scoop up my daughters and to let them go at the same time. I wish I could figure out the exact right way to do it. You and your sister are beautiful. I’m happy for your richness.


    September 9, 2009 at 7:04 am

  5. @ Darc: Ditto. Can you pack for NY now, too. A train from DC to NY. You know you wanna.

    @ Louise: Friends make great sisters sometimes.

    @ Haley: Grateful you can relate. Sometimes I feel nuts for not having had a perfect understanding of our relationship all along.

    @ Leslie: Scoop, scoop-e-doop, scoop-e-doop-e-doop-e-doop. I’m hunting for the perfect formulas of scooping and dumping, too. I think I’ll be hunting my whole life. If you find the answer, lets chat over chocolate bread about it.

    Mackenzie Rollins

    September 9, 2009 at 8:21 am

  6. This is a joy to see! Love, Dad


    September 9, 2009 at 9:27 am

  7. ok this made me teary eyed too. love you. and darc.


    September 9, 2009 at 7:03 pm

  8. I grew up in a family of four kids, me being the only girl…the relationship between sisters has always been so foreign to me, I always felt like I was standing on the outside, looking in. Thankfully friendships and a new sister-in-law have been slowing drawing me in, while I’m in new territory and not entirely in my comfort zone yet, I’m getting there. It made my heart smile reading your words and perspective and your growing understanding between you and your sister. Thank you for sharing!

    Faithful Reader

    September 9, 2009 at 7:32 pm

  9. Looked at this again. Darcy’s face is like her father’s at this age. Very photogenic. You are both pretty girls. Glad you got that close sister thing going for you.

    M A Rollins

    September 10, 2009 at 7:52 am

  10. you don’t know me, and I don’t really know you, but I love your writing, and I adored this post. Thank you for your constant honesty. Reading what you write opens something up inside me that helps me be honest in my writing as well. Thank you.


    September 11, 2009 at 7:20 am

  11. Great post – from one older sister to another


    September 13, 2009 at 8:10 pm

  12. this was so precious, Mackenzie, and it truly warmed my heart to read about the cycle of yalls relationship.

    Jenny Davis

    September 15, 2009 at 7:24 pm

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