There were never such devoted sisters
All kinds of weather
We stick together
The same in the rain or sun
Two diff'rent faces
But in tight places
We think and we act as one
When we are together sometimes we will break out in song belting out the first few lines of the famous "Sisters" tune from White Christmas. Although, truth be told, it isn’t how things are in our case.
From my earliest memories of childhood we didn’t really get along famously. She is younger by four years. We have an older brother and a younger brother between her and me.
We shared a room growing up. It was a small room in a small house with 4 children and two parents.
Early on it was clear we had opposite personalities.
She: a night person. Me: a morning person.
She: a bit on the relaxed side with personal belongings. Me: a bit on the OCD side.
She: easily offended. Me: THE offender.
She: a picky eater. Me: ate anything and everything.
And on it goes.
Because of our age difference we had separate friends, separate schools, separate interests.
We grew up bickering and arguing most of the time. Me being a bit overbearing and having no patience whatsoever with any faults I readily pointed out as belonging to her.
Once we became young adults and began having our own families much of our childhood tensions seemed to meld away. Not too surprisingly we both started having families young and we really needed each other at that point in life. We shared in babysitting, day time outings, recipes, family holidays and so on. Now I’m not saying it was always a piece of cake but our relationship dramatically changed for the better.
Somewhere in that young adult timeline we both gave our hearts and lives to our Lord and began following His teachings as well. This upped the ante in our ability to get along by leaps and bounds – at least from my perspective. She was always a little more spiritual than me… which wasn’t hard since I was a zero on the spiritual scale during my teen/late teen years.
Somehow after her six children and my three and a couple of decades of child rearing, church going (some years the same church- some years not) and umpteen holidays had passed… we drifted our separate ways again. It never became a thing of arguing or bickering or outward disapproval as when we were children. No, this was just a gradual disconnect.
One obvious thing was when she literally moved to another state. When that happened eight years ago, we stopped keeping up with each other’s daily lives due to varying life-circumstances. Bottom line is we stopped working at our relationship. We stopped making efforts to work through our differences as well as our distance.
Three years ago I visited her home in TN for the first time since she left. We had a blast. We almost instantly reconnected as if we hadn’t skipped all those years of hardly talking in between.
There’s just something about a sister. No relationship can take its place. There is no other relationship like it. Sisters are bonded together by an indescribable connection that isn’t easily defined.
My sister visited with me in my home this week. No children, no husband, just her. We couldn’t remember if that had ever happened in all our adult life but we didn’t waste too much time trying to figure it out. We stayed up late at night drinking coffee and talking into the morning hours (still not a night person but I managed). We lit candles on the back lanai and talked some more. We floated around in the pool for hours still talking. We woke up talking and laughing and remembering and sharing from our deepest places… as if all the years of forgetting to call and not bothering to call ever made our hearts for each other skip a beat.
She left yesterday and I find myself wondering how she is doing. I imagine what she might be doing knowing she was on a day trip to Sea World. How silly. For too many months I have not even bothered to pick up the phone and give her a quick call prior to this week.
Relationships take work. Once she goes back to her home, I will have to make a valiant effort to stay in touch. It will help to remind myself of the great time we had while she was here. Because for some reason I get busy with my life and the relationships I have in front of me every day and I forget to call. Then time passes and I think I will be on the phone too long so I’ll do it later. The list of excuses is long.
Most of all, I’ll remind myself that even though our lives have taken some different and unexpected turns over the years, I love her. I love her creativity, her intense emotions, her “quirkiness” as she would say, her sensitive heart, her willingness to hold onto God in the toughest of life's circumstances.
She is my sister and I don’t have another.