I was recently shopping for a greeting card. As I searched through the rows of cards, I noticed one with the words “To Someone Who Is Just Like A Sister”. That got me to thinking about what it takes to be “just like a sister”. The bond between sisters is very powerful and unique. It is rooted in love, on memories of a shared childhood and a similar belief system learned from the years of growing up in the same household. As adults, sisters lean on each other for support. Sisters can truly be themselves with each other – after all, your sisters have seen you when you were still in diapers, and with your front teeth missing, they knew you for years before you wore make-up, and have seen the hair style failures you experimented with and know all your secrets. So, if this is truly what creates that bond between sisters, I wondered how does one become “just like” a sister?
As I pondered that thought, it struck me that I have a wonderful “just like sister” in my life. My sister-in-law couldn’t be more of sister to me. She married my oldest brother when I was two years old. I have known – and loved - her almost as long as I have my brother. I was fortunate that when I was growing up, they lived close to us and were within easy walking distance. She was there to witness most of my “firsts”, she told me about the tooth fairy, shared her love of reading with me, provided a safe haven for me to escape to every once in a while, and she was the first person to tell me that women could do anything they set their mind to.
She did things my mother would never do such as making birthday cakes with coins baked into the cake – and we would get to keep whatever coin we found in our piece of cake! I loved going places with her – she was a cool big sister I loved to tag along with. When she and my brother started their family, I loved her babies. I grew up with her children and they remain an important part of my life.
She was there for my first communion, my high school graduation, my wedding, when my Dad died, then later on when my Mom died, and when my own babies were born. She was there when I needed help and support the most. If that is not a “just like sister”, I don’t know what is. Having wonderful sisters and “just like sisters” - what could be better?