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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tribal Law of Sisterhood

"Stop fighting and bickering.  One day you will realize how thankful you are for one another." ~ Our Mom, Mother of 4 Girls

There is something about having sisters that is an incredible gift.  My three sisters are my best friends.  No matter where we are in life or where life takes us, we always have each other.  We are sometimes strewn miles apart in our locations, differences, beliefs, convictions and habits, but our hearts are melded together in a bond that cannot be broken.  A bond that does not judge and a bond that only gets stronger with time.  

Of course as young girls, we fought, yelled and slammed doors in one anothers faces.  We stole clothes from each others closets and tattled when appropriate and to our advantage.  But as we grew up into young women, then wives, then mothers, we restored our sisterhood when we found we could balance life a little easier when we could revert to our familiar and comfortable role as sisters.  There is nothing in the world like having sisters. And there is nothing in the world that I wouldn't do for any of one of them. 

It's hard to explain sisterhood to those who don't have sisters. It's a complicated relationship based entirely on the cosmic rules of birth, shared blood and circumstance. Sisters aren't able to choose one another. Thrown together by fate and by the family they are born into, they must learn to tolerate one another's sudden appearance into their lives. Suddenly everything must be shared, and attentions must be split. Then rules and boundaries must be created in order to maintain individual identities while concurrently becoming friends. Conflicts arise as these boundaries are identified and experimented with. Lines are drawn and re-drawn, some are negotiated, some are forced. Yet inevitably with time, these closely guarded borders loosen. There is no need now for such a tight reign as we sisters have grown to trust and rely on one another and as we realize that without a doubt, if all others fail us, we will never fail each other. Our sisterhood is a tribe whose terrain is protected and defended vigorously.

Of course, mistakes are made, communication errors abound and misunderstandings occur.  Enough battles will be fought to sink any friendship but not a sisterhood.  These things only strengthen the bond and enforce the reliance on one another. For that is all it is - a temporary blip, a learning experience, learning to say I'm sorry and being sure to forgive. Because now matter what we do, we will always be sisters. We can never change that fact. Ever. 

Soon we appreciate the dawning realization that we are each others keepers for our entire existence and probably beyond. We have pack codes, a secret language and an intimate knowledge of each other that begins at birth and goes on through out our entire existence. We accept each other completely for who we are. We expect and fulfill a lifetime commitment to each other that requires no ceremony, no legalities, and no approvals. There is not another person on this earth that can penetrate our sister tribe or understand us the way we understand each other. We can all speak at once and still have heard each word the other said. We can speak with no words and still know what the other conveyed. We are each others universe,  a vast and complicated territory where no man dares tread and where others are intrigued by the mystery of this intense relationship we have. We are impenetrable. We are sisters united by our childhood. We know each others hearts, fundamental selves and are linked by a volatile love that gives meaning to our lives. There is no better friend than a sister and my sisters, there is no one better than you!

She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities.  She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway.  She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark.  She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink.  Some days, she's the reason you wish you were an only child~Barbara Alpert

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