I once had a friend who told me she felt sorry for me because I did not have a sister. She was very close to her own sister and could not imagine how I got through life being my parents’ only daughter.
It is true that there is something very special about a sister relationship. Knowing each other and loving each other and growing through life together is a source of great strength and joy. God gave women sisters to be companions on the journey. When one sister falls, another is there to laugh… and then help her up. When one sister goes through an experience, good or bad, other sisters rejoice with her and mourn with her. When a sister is going down a dark path, it is a great blessing to have another sister shining a light and suggesting a different direction.
Yes, sisterhood is a wonderful thing. My friend had it wrong though. I do have sisters.
I have a sister who saw me through a painful divorce. She stayed on the phone with me for hours at a time, listening to me cry and despair of ever being happy. As the years progressed, she supported me in everything I’ve ever done. She helped me build confidence and joy in myself. Without her, I don’t know that I would have lived beyond age 30.
I have a sister who listened and observed and figured out the best things to do for me while I struggled through my mother’s decline and eventual death. She just knew what I needed and provided it. She is also absolutely the best person I have ever met at knowing the exact right thing to say all the time.
I have a sister who came to me for career advice, blossomed because of the conversations we shared, and included me in her joy when her efforts bore fruit.
I have a sister who walked with me on my road to reception into the Episcopal Church and continues to support me in my faith. She respects me. She understands me. She loves me.
I have a sister who let me help her when things were difficult for her. Instead of pushing me aside when she was mourning, she allowed me the honor of doing something for her. In letting me take something off her plate, she gave me the satisfaction of helping and also showed me that she loved me enough to let me close.
I have a sister who went with me when the Disney Fairy Godmother reimagined me into an aging, chubby Tinker Bell. Not only did she go, but she enjoyed it and could not imagine why anyone would think it weird.
I have a sister who is willing to gently tell me when she thinks I am doing something wrong… and also convinces me that I am lovable in spite of the unlovable action.
I have a sister to whom I can say anything without fearing that I will be judged, misunderstood, or hurt because of it.
I have a sister who, while my ego and sense of sanity crumbled during a few particularly painful interludes during my work life, could always convince me that “it’s not you; it’s them.” Without her, I think I might have experienced a psychotic break with reality.
I have sisters who make me feel like the joyful child I used to be. I have sisters who make me feel like the carefree teenager I never was. I have sisters who admire the adult I am today. Often, all these sisters are the same people.
These are just a few of my sisters of the soul. It is true that I have no sisters by birth, but I am abundantly blessed with my sisters by selection.
Who are your “sisters?” Are they by birth or selection? What makes the relationship so special? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hug a sister today!