Sisterfriends:: Celebrating National Sisters Day

Sisterfriends:: Celebrating National Sisters DayAugust 2nd is National Sisters Day and initially, I wanted to take the opportunity to sing the praises of my one and only sister, Vicki.  I mean, she is one of the smartest, funniest and genuine people I know.  She has a heart as big as the State of Texas {although, she really tries to hide that fact} and routinely puts up with my shenanigans so, for that alone, she just might be my favorite person.  Also – and this is very important- she is an excellent cook and baker. So good that her annual Christmas Cookie Boxes are legendary.  Seriously, she’s aaahhhmaaazing! I don’t say these things lightly, after all, I am a Marshall {my maiden name} and we do not hand out compliments willy-nilly.  Yes, this national observance of sisterly love was to be an ode to my big sis but, then I got to thinking about the actual relationship between sisters and the many different variations on the concept of sisterhood.  


Sisterfriends:: Celebrating National Sisters Day

Vicki is thirteen years older than me and quite often, our relationship has taken on more of a mother/daughter tone, particularly when I was younger. Except for those times that she wanted to firmly disassociate herself from any of my foolishness. In those moments, I was definitely my mother’s daughter. Over the years our connection has evolved and we are now more friends rather than big sis and little sis. I have often wondered what it is like to have a sister, or even a brother for that matter, who is also a playmate. By the way, I do also have two brothers but, they are eleven and six years my senior. Great guys but, not exactly playmate material. I wanted to experience a sister who can swap clothes and ride the bus home from school with me. A sister who sleeps with me when I’m afraid or keeps me from walking out of the house looking raggedy. A sister who can appreciate my taste in music, clothes and boys. At least I thought that’s what I wanted, until I had two girls of my own, only eighteen months apart. 

Twisted Sisters

Unless you have been brought up experienced in the ways of sibling rivalry and sharing everything you have, the reality of having a sister close in age is not quite what I expected. Sure, my girls have their share of fun, but it does not come without some turmoil. Complaints about loud chewing and sticky hands or disappearing hair gel and unauthorized borrowing of earrings are quite common. Loud discussions {also known as arguments} often disturb the peace and they both demand parity of my time and deed. Trust me, no purchase or action goes unnoticed or unmatched. It can be exhausting. 

On the other hand, they are both quick with a compliment for the other and will vigorously defend each other against outside intrusion.  They are sisters and insults, harassment and teasing is reserved for only them. Admittedly, I wasn’t quite ready for the WWE cage match immediately followed by tea parties with Barbies, but I have come to learn that the intensity of their emotions, both good and bad, is a reflection of their bond. At least that’s what I tell myself. They know each other better than anyone.  They finish each other’s sentences, know exactly the perfect birthday gift and know what brings a smile from tears.  Recently, I heard them admit that they are, in fact, best friends. That’s the part I was hoping for, not all of the other episodes of crazy, except now, I think I finally understand that it’s all part of the same story.  

Sisters by Birth, Friends by Choice

Sisterfriends:: Celebrating National Sisters Day

It has taken years for me to understand that sisters, no matter the age difference, are destined to disagree and make up, to tell hard truths and love unflinchingly. Theirs is a bond that, if nurtured, protected and cared for, will outlast their final breaths. As Vicki and I have grown older, my appreciation of her has also grown. Maybe it’s the acceptance that we will not live forever and that life changes so quickly. What we once took for granted – a Sunday afternoon visit – is now a distant memory and something we look forward to with great anticipation.  While we are born sisters, we are not born friends, but the road to friendship is a beautiful, if not bumpy, journey.

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