Sisterhood — SheLoves for April, 2016

This piece was written several weeks ago, before the one that went live this week. Both are about this long, hard, sometimes beautiful, always exhausting journey with my mom. At the time this was written, she was just beginning to sing again, after many months of not doing any of it. You can finish this essay over at SheLoves.

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It’s a gray day today and I’m actually grateful for that. I love the sun. Love it. And we’ve had a winter full of it here in Santa Barbara. But somehow, the grayness is helpful today, soothing and calming, like a gentle hug.

I offer those kinds of hugs quite a lot these days, mostly because I need them myself. I think I’m lonely, to tell you the truth. It’s not overwhelming, it’s not even terribly sad, because overall, my life is rich and good. But there’s a part of me, deep inside, that is lonely.

I never had a sister. I raised two girls and a boy, and my mom had a sister, so I’ve seen real sisterhood up-close-and-personal, but I’ve never experienced it myself. I do know that for some, ‘sisterhood’ is more of a curse than a blessing, that sometimes personalities clash, or shared history is dark and dangerous, or jealousy inserts itself in an ugly and corrosive way. But the sisterhood I’ve watched in my own family? Well, it’s a lovely thing to see.

We lived near my mom’s sister for about eight years of my childhood — just three blocks away. We could walk to each other’s houses easily and often. My mom and my Aunt Eileen laughed with ease whenever they were together, sharing stories and jokes known only to them. I would watch them from a distance, feeling what I now know was a kind of nostalgia as I did so. A nostalgia for something I’ve never had and never will.

I wish I had a sister.

The content of this post surprised me. I sat down in a free two hour window to ponder the theme for this month over at SheLoves. . . and this strange piece is what came out. You can click right here to finish it over there.

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