I’m incredibly lucky to have many women as my chosen sisters, people I’ve met along the way who consider me theirs, who tell me they love me, who share their full ‘them’s’ with me, and receive my full ‘me.’ I’m so glad our lives plopped down together for a moment in time and we agreed to keep each other forever. I SEE YOU AND I LOVE YOU.
I’m also so grateful for my cousins who are pretty much sisters. I can’t believe how lucky I am to have fallen into TWO families full of brilliant, hilarious, creative, loving, interesting women. We’ve carried each other through deaths, new lifes, near lifes, financial fear, addiction, marriage, separation, injuries, illnesses, and joy, so much joy. We somehow miraculously all enjoy each other enough that we WOULD have chosen each other as friends, even if we weren’t kind of forced into the gig biologically. In fact, they’ve made up the term “frousins” to reflect the friendship between cousins, and I love them despite that. ;) I SEE YOU AND I LOVE YOU.
My SISTER sister, Erica, who is probably the funniest, smartest person I know, is the person I text most, call most (pretty much the only person I call), send jokes to most, tell her my ugly, scary TRUTHiest truths to, and trust completely to help me figure out the hardest stuff inside and outside. We’re SO different, but we are SO bound to each other. She has been the one I’ve three-legged walked through life with from the beginning, and I can’t imagine trying to walk without knowing she’s there, tied to me, trying to walk, too.
Erica was a wee little six year-old baguette when our other sister, Kirsten, died. She grieved raw, natural, like a kid trying to process a world that makes no sense. I was thirteen and thought I was big. Thought I had to put the world back together for those I loved. I tried to parent her, I tried to parent my parents. I tried.
For many years, with our age gap and this trying between us, I was more auntie or second mom or heckling babysitter than I was sister, to her. I picked her up, whether she needed it or not. Then I left. I was married before she finished high school, gone before she went to her first homecoming dance.
Finally, as adults, when I came home and she came into herself, I saw how tall she stood on her own, without me picking her up. How strong her back was, how brave and kind and amazing she was all on her own…how she could support my weight, too, if I leaned on her. I remember having a little memorial service when we were both in our 20’s, putting Kirsten’s ashes to final rest in a mausoleum, and finding it wasn’t my husband’s hand I wanted to grip for strength, it was Erica’s. She understood, she knew, she felt it all. I didn’t need to protect her anymore. We both had to live, to lose, to feel, and it was better side-by-side, together, as women.
Over time, I’ve learned we can both lean hard into the other. I’m so glad for that. She’s calming and wise and hysterical and weird and wonderful. She’s who I most wanted with me when I gave birth. She’s who I most wanted when I was trying to care for a newborn. She’s who I most wanted when I was critically ill in a hospital bed. She’s who I most want now, while the world is so uncertain and scary, so we’re FaceTiming daily from our own separate isolated homes. I SEE YOU AND I LOVE YOU.
We have husbands, yes. They’re great. This is not about them.