Last week there was a day designated as “Sister’s Day”. I started thinking about the relationship between Sisters, and how I grew up always wishing I had one. I felt somehow slighted by not having that special connection that I saw in female siblings, and it was a wish that I cultivated in my heart.
Then there came that wonderful day in June of 1971, when I arrived in Los Angeles to meet my future in-laws for the first time. There she was: my Sister-in-law, sixteen-year-old Judy. (The picture above shows us that week, bonding as newly minted sisters-to-be.) She was smart, funny, beautiful, and kind. Having two brothers, she had always wanted a Sister, too. We were meant for each other.
I loved Judy from the first moment we met, and my affection for her has increased steadily over the past forty-five years. She has been family to me always, even though my marriage to her brother did not last too long. She has provided me with so much joy by marrying a fabulous man, my Brother-in-law Matt, whom I also adore. She has further enriched my life by allowing me to be an Aunt to my incredible niece, Tova, and my spectacular nephew, Jared. Although we live a Continent apart, and rarely see one another, I have always felt connected to my little baby Sister, and her wonderful family. Love does that.
As I pursued this line of Sister thinking, I realized that many of my close female friends are like Sisters to me. They have taken me into their hearts and homes, have been in my corner through all my travails, and have rooted me on to my successes. I could not ask for more from a genetically related Sister.
When I need a reality check for my behavior, or have to bitch about the number of morons I have recently encountered, there is Donna Deluxe. She is the astute and incisive psychoanalyst for whose constant services I have not had to pay. She knows all my stories and gets all my inside jokes. Close as any Sister could be.
If I have a moral question, or wonder if I am headed the wrong way, or need to talk about being a single Mom to a daughter, there is Gail. My brilliant, successful Maid of Honor, and College pal. We’ve travelled somewhat parallel paths, and always pick up the conversation where we last left off. Sisters, for sure.
When I need to reminisce and laugh about the foibles of my youth, there is Cynthia. She, who put up with me as a College roommate for several years, knows me very well. My snoring. My obsessiveness. My heartbreaks. Talented, creative, smart, consistent, and steady: this is a Sister who has shared so much with me, and continues to encourage all my efforts.
I realize I have other Sisters for other reasons and seasons. Cate is always there as a shrewd common sense touchstone. Marg is there for making sure I don’t take myself too seriously. Marianne is loving and kind, and always excited about my new ideas. Judy C. is there for thoughtful, pragmatic advice, and to make sure I see both sides of the issues. Lisette is there to carefully review the facts and make a plan of attack. Kim is there to inspire my inward search and heal me with her wisdom. All these clever, intelligent, and compassionate Women help me by being great listeners and giving of their time and energy.
So, I got really lucky. Fate didn’t give me just one or two Sisters: I have a Sisterhood. They support me, restore me, share with me, and set me straight. They know who I am, and accept my flaws, neuroses, and crazy schemes. Love does that.