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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sibling(s) (05/01/08)

By Sylvia Hensel


On a beautiful day in mid-September my oldest sister, Jenny, was found visiting every family friend she could think of in every part of the city. It was at my mother’s insistence. In fact she demanded it. It was the day I was born. Your see, no one realized my mother was pregnant, neither she nor the doctor. He had examined her on numerous occasions, but could not diagnosis the problem. Since mother was going through the “change”, her symptoms were attributed to that. One would think, having been her eleventh pregnancy, six living children and four miscarries, that she or the doctor would at least consider the fact that she was expecting.

Not realizing her condition, when mom went into labor, she probably wondered if she was dying. She called my aunt and the doctor. Back then, doctors made house calls. After examining her, he still had no answers. As he descended the stairs, I was born. Needless to say, everyone was shocked.

In those days, pregnancy outside of marriage was a scalding scandal that reflected on the upbringing provided by the mother. Therefore, my sister’s visits to everyone around town served the purpose of proving that she was not the mother of this “miracle” baby; you see, Jenny was seventeen years old at the time.

Mom was concerned that she may not live to see me grown. Actually, she lived to be 81. However, she made my sister promise that if anything happened to her, Jenny would raise me as her own. My sister took this responsibility seriously, even after she married and had children of her own. I spent a great deal of time at her home, and went everywhere with her family. Her children were like my own siblings, and, in reality more my age than my actual brothers and sisters.

As we all got older, our rolls changed. We went from a mother-daughter relationship to a sister-sister relationship. It was an easy transition, and we loved every minute of it. As we got even older, we also became best friends. There was an intimacy between us that very few sisters ever have an opportunity to share. As the Bible says, “A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” In every aspect of our relationship she was always encouraging, supportive and loving. (KJV Ec. 4:12)

As friends do, we would shop together for hours, then go home and call each other and discuss everything we had purchased. We laughed together, partied together, shared all our feelings, and kept no secrets from each other. We spoke every day on the phone about love, life, politics, philosophy, religion and clothes.

Then one day the unthinkable happened. She got SAVED. Everything changed. No more long conversations about the trivial things of life. No more laughter over worldly matters. No more fun. I was broken hearted. Where did my sister go? I felt as though my best friend died. I was lost. She was such a big part of my life. Now we had nothing in common. We still spoke often, but all she talked about was my need for Jesus. I already knew about Jesus, but she insisted this was different. I needed a personal relationship with Him. We fought over this for three years, but with her continued nagging and many prayers, she also became my spiritual mother. Much to our extreme joy, we now were once again able to talk for hours about the things that interested us most, Jesus, the Bible, church and clothes. After all, some things never change.

She went to be with the Lord seven years ago. I miss my sister so much. Early on, I promised Jenny that when she passed, I would always pray for her children’s salvation with the same intensity as I do my own. I take that very seriously. The story doesn’t end there. Her daughter and I are now best friends. We talk for hours on the phone about life, love, her need for Jesus, and clothes. I have become quite a nagger. I had a great teacher, my sister Jenny.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 05/09/08
Very interesting--fascinating family dynamics.

FYI--I think you meant your "roles" changed.

I really enjoyed reading about Jenny and the wonderful changing relationship you shared.
Joanne Sher 05/11/08
Delightful piece, with wonderful characterization. I like how this came full circle, and I'd LOVE to see this expanded some time. Thanks for sharing.