Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Threefold Cord (04/12/12)
TITLE: My Sister, My Friend
By Laura Hawbaker
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These words are etched in the frame holding a picture of my four beautiful daughters. I look at them and smile. There is an obvious familial look about the girls, yet each one is unique. They are at different ages and stages of life, have different personalities and live in three different states. They share common genes, memories of growing up together and they choose to be friends.
Sisters share a special bond. Although I respect and admire my brothers, I have a special place in my heart for my sisters.
My oldest sisters, Mary Sue and Becky, were fourteen and twelve when I was born and I became their “baby doll.” My memories of them include watching their exciting lives of boy friends, nursing school, marriage and then, most wonderful of all, they became mothers and I became an AUNT! Their babies now became my baby dolls!
My sisters closest to me, Janet five years older and Eva, two years younger, were the sisters I grew up with. They were the sisters I played with; Eva and I spent countless hours in the make believe world of paper dolls, pioneer and dress up. They were the sisters I fought with; Janet and I called Eva a spoiled brat and I still have a scar on my leg where Eva threw a scissors at me. We teased each other about boys, attended youth activities together, shopped together, learned to pump our own gas and find our way around Des Moines. We washed dishes, shelled peas, pulled weeds; work was almost fun when shared with a sister! Then, lo and behold, we all married and had babies of our own and suddenly the five of us seemed one age. I was no longer in awe of my oldest sisters; I no longer fought with my younger sisters. We were friends.
I see that same bond between my mother and her sisters. They were a family of all girls, three of them— Norma, Maxine and Mary Lou—
the Keller girls. They grew up, married and raised a passel of kids within a few miles of each other. Today they are widows in their eighties. Norma and Mary Lou still get together for outings, drives that often end at the cemetery. They miss Maxine terribly. She is still with them in body, but Alzheimer’s has stolen away her mind. They visit her anyway and catch her up on the latest family news or reminisce about days of old, hoping for a glimmer of recognition or a wisp of a smile. They are still friends.
I miss one of my sisters too. When my sister Becky died, I deeply mourned, but since I had not had daily contact with her (we lived in separate states) I did not truly miss her until several months after her death. My husband and I were attending a wedding near her home and her widowed husband invited us to stay at his house. After the wedding, the men were outside discussing man things (hunting, dogs and guns) and I found myself wandering around the house looking for Becky. I wanted to talk to her. I wanted to laugh with her about the funny bride’s maids dresses. I wanted to hear her giggle about the bride’s veil catching fire. I was lonely for my sister, my friend.
Do you have a sister? Is she your friend? Although the bonds of common ancestry and shared experiences could be called happenstance, it is the third element of this three-fold chord—loyal friendship wherein the choice lies.
Lay aside your differences and competitiveness, celebrate your friendship. Call your sister, send an e-mail, go out to lunch, laugh over a memory or at the very least, take a drive through the cemetery together.
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