The notion that everyone should have a sister is one I’ve echoed for years. Probably because I wouldn’t know life without one nor would I want to. She's everything. And more. And if I'm honest I'd probably pull any strings possible to have another baby girl and give my daughter a sister. But the way God created families is, not everyone gets a sister and that’s just how life goes. This sometimes makes me sad for my daughter, because I don't want her to miss out on this incredible journey, but it has also lead me to this beautiful unbeknownst truth.
The love that a sister has for her sister is palpable. It’s vibrant, complicated and thick. From my standpoint, it’s unbreakable. It’s also the kind of love that runs deep, because family. DNA. But here’s what I’ve learned about that. Although it is my most treasured relationship ever, it was created by two people, DNA or not. It’s love isn’t measured daily by our family ties, the deep connection forced upon us growing up in the same room and sharing everything from clothes to a hairbrush, but rather by the tangible grasp of desire and hope to continuously love one another for better or worse, through thick and thin.
We’ve been through a lot. We're sisters. So many highs and plenty of lows. I love her. To the moon. And I'd do anything for her. And upon scrolling through photos of sissy on the sofa this morning (on her birthday) while my 3 children looked over my shoulder, a light bulb went off. None of my children will ever have the same bond or relationship that she and I have. Sister to sister, from birth to dust. The gold bond that can’t be broken, ever. The crawling into her daybed during a thunderstorm or borrowing her red sequined prom dress senior year. That won’t happen. Never. But here’s what will. And here's what warms my soul.
My kids will learn to love to that capacity. And if they treasure their brother or sister this highly, and are willing to go the distance to see their greatest joys and also triumph through great sorrows with this person, then I believe anything glorious is possible. Not just an unbreakable bond that will withstand the earth shaking deaths of their loved ones and or the miraculous births of their brand new children, but an ability to love their friends as such, too.
You might argue and say "but there’s nothing like a family bond". And yes while that may be true, as I watch my daughter navigate life without a sister, but with brothers, I see mountains of love growing fast like weeds in the garden bed. I see patience. I see love. I see compassion. And loads of innocent wonder. And as I watch her discover love and bonds with friends outside of her brothers, I will continue to unveil the very thing in life that sets me free, true companionship with loving people. And all I can think of, is if everyone could feel the kind of love I have in my heart for my sister (and my brothers) and a handful of other extraordinary friends in my life, then wouldn’t we all be just a little more blessed in life? Happiness in the form of a magical bond isn’t just handed to you in a hospital room when your sister is born. It’s a bond that’s created and nurtured. And for the life of me, I’ll never understand why God was so good to me when he gave me my sister, but I also know that two people, my sister and I, have built this beautiful landscape of sisterhood, and so can you. With your brother, with your friend, with anyone. And learning this truth just made me incredibly relieved as I watched my daughter pat her brother's head and say "I'll put on Sesame street for you". Because that truth is exploding right here, right now. So, happy birthday to my wonderful sissy, my touchstone. You, are one in a million, and I'm forever grateful.