Sisters | Choose Joy

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought it would be good to remember some of the most important people in my life, those that have brought me joy and happiness: my sisters. And since they’ll most likely not read this, or even see it, I can pretty much say anything.

I have three sisters and three widely different relationships. There’s the oldest sister, the one who mothered me. She was the one who woke up when I rolled off my bunk bed and put me back to sleep. She stayed up with me when I had a 104-degree temperature. Then there’s the next oldest, the sister who taught me how to drive in the city when I left for college (and she did this by driving with me—I was a terrible driver; she put her life in danger multiple times in order to teach me). She helped me arrange my new adult life with a gym membership, a job, and a bank account.

Then there’s my little sister, one of my best friends. She’s the one I played with as a child, explored with. She’s the one I go to movies and shows with now. We share so much, including books. She might be the one I’m closest to because we grew up together (number 8 and 10 of a 10-sibling family) and have the most in common. I love her fiercely (all the sisters, really), and she remains one of my favorite people in the world. In fact, just the other day I was with my little sister at a musical. I realized, as we sat there enjoying the show together, that it’s so precious to have these moments with her, these times when we can just be sisters.

Sisters understand you like no other. They know you, the young child you and the adult you. They roll their eyes with you at your parents; they share the same inside jokes. They’re the ones who understand what it’s like to lose a sibling. You can say a few words and they’ll immediately get the inside joke (“Po-ta-to”). You share many of the same embarrassing moments (The Lion King). They’re not afraid to tell you the truth; in fact, you depend on it.

They’re a resource during the Dark Days that you might forget to take advantage of. Even now I have a hard time texting my sister(s) and saying, “I’m having a really hard time right now.” But every time I do, she’s there. I think those of us who get depressed and anxious and scared (so pretty much everybody everywhere) forget that family—sisters—are a bright piece of light that can help. They’re almost obligated to help; they’re family after all. We lean on each other.

So here’s to my sisters: Thanks for the laughter and the happiness. I love you.

Choose Joy.

—A

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