Sisters and seasons

Kelly and Kim, 1967

That’s the best thing about little sisters: They spend so much time wishing they were elder sisters that in the end they’re far wiser than the elder ones could ever be.

Gemma Burgess

Today is my sister’s birthday. We live too far away from each other to see each other as often as we’d like, and our life paths have taken us in very different directions, but we are still each other’s biggest fans, protectors, defenders, and confidantes. And we’re lucky to have learned the art of sisterhood through the observation of our mom and her sisters.

Bonnie, Rose Marie, Marilyn

To the outside world we all grow old. But not sisters. We know each other as we always were. We live outside the touch of time.

Clara Ortega
Marilyn, Margaret, Rose Marie, Bonnie

Like every sister knows, there is no better friend and no better foe than your sister. When we were younger, we knew exactly the buttons to push with each other. We stole each other’s clothes. We stole each other’s albums. When we shared a room we fought over which way Donny Osmond’s album cover faced and who he was going to stare at through the night. I didn’t want her tagging along until I did. She never wanted me butting into her business until she did.

We still have that same ability to know exactly what the other one either needs to hear or doesn’t want to hear. The difference is that now we only use that information for good and not to wound. We know that no matter what comes our way in life – happiness, sadness, fury, worry, joy or fear – we will be there for each other no matter what. We’ve had heartaches, but nothing like the heartaches that we know will come eventually. And while we will never be ready for them, we know we’ll have each other to get through them.

Now I’m an aunt to Kim’s two girls, and I watch as they go through all the same things that we did. The companionship, the rivalry, the bickering, the laughing…it’s all there. And it’s such a gift to be able to watch them grow together and apart as they get older, just the way we did, and just the way our mom and her sisters did before us.

The women in our family really are a tribe. We love the men who are our fathers, brothers, uncles, husbands and sons. But we cherish the bond that our sisterhoods, whichever generation it may be, bring to our lives. We can go for months or years without seeing each other, but we also know that all it would take is a text, a phone call, or an email and we’d all be there for each other in whatever way we needed, whether it’s for emotional support, a loving but firm “what the hell are you thinking” conversation, or just a reassurance that we’re not alone in the world.

Happy Birthday to my sister. My forever friend. My partner in crime and the best counselor I never paid. We have each other’s back, and on the rare occasion when I’m not sure how I feel about something, I know I can talk to you and figure it out.

 A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves – a special kind of double.

Toni Morrison

4 thoughts on “Sisters and seasons

  1. Lovingly written.

    Not knowing how to respond to a blog, find a few of my sisterhood experiences below.

    My sister and I are six years apart. Following along after her was a comfortable place for me. I did not feel any need to reach her standard of ambitions, accomplishments, or victories. Printing t-shirts for her causes was my cup of tea. She knows my strengths and makes me feel wise as she leaned on me or asked for help through the years. Many of our cousins we count as sisters. Blessed by family, we truly are.


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