A giggle escaped from across the backseat of the crowded Ford Super Cab pick-up truck. An exasperated groan escaped my lips as, yet again, my little sister crossed the boundary created by the Coleman lantern and various pieces of luggage. These were designed to act as a dividing line between her space and mine. We were in the midst of undertaking a massive road trip across the U.S. It seemed that the partition was once again closing in on me. All the while, my sister continued to spread out, pushing the boundaries over her expanse of allotted space. Eventually a sigh escaped from me as the feeling of confinement grew. Realization was dawning over how, yet again, there were challenges when sharing a small space with my kid sister!
Memories aroused, I continued to recount another time when my sister approached me with a smile. Her smile grew in it’s broadness as she walked closer to me. Sporting her t-shirt that exclaimed, “Clean Rooms Are Boring,” I noticed that she held something behind her back. As she brought her hands out before her, I saw the Cabbage Patch Kid she held in her arms. In her other hand, she held out her treasured pale yellow blanket. Knowing well this invitation to play house, I flashed an excited smile. Scampering off, I ran to collect my dolls, blankets, and all other necessities for playing our roving game of “Submarine” (aka house).
Sisterly Life Lessons
Reflecting on these childhood memories, I discover the depth of what I value most in relationships. Likewise, I have uncovered the lessons I treasure from the very first peer relationship in my life:
There is something incredibly endearing within the relationship of a sister. While the roots of sister go back to words meaning “one’s own,” as I continue to grow and mature, I have come to more deeply value the bonds of my “one’s own.” I consider how this relationship has been deeply rooted, loyal, supportive, and long-lasting. My sister has accompanied me on grand adventures. She has walked through the ups and downs of life in a variety of degrees of support. She has also laughed with me, cried with me, and traveled hundreds of miles just to be with me. My sister is dependable, loyal, steadfast, and extends grace upon grace through the expansive and variety of seasons of life.
Each recollection with her seems to be laced with an anecdote, humor, and/or valuable lesson. While I cannot help but recall our own personal discomfort at being cramped up alongside her in the backseat of our Ford Supercab, I fondly recall the many fond memories of togetherness.
Memories such as how, during those long road-trips, our mother would travel with a surprise bag. As the miles got further underway toward our destination, our mom would pull out a treat from the surprise bag. Maybe it was an activity book and a marker filled with invisible ink. Perhaps it was a container of Silly Putty. Knowing our infinity for newspaper comics, quite possibly one of the treats would be an Archie comic book. All in all, whatever the surprise, it always encouraged togetherness.
My sister and I would be so excited to complete activities and share our findings with one another. Squealing with excitement as the invisible ink worked it’s magic, we loved how the picture or print would materialize right in front of our eyes. Using our Silly Putty to press down on the colorful Archie comics, exclamations of “oohs” and “ahhs” would escape our mouths. We were enthralled over the fascinating way the picture transferred to the putty. Giggles would then escape with a great rush as the putty was stretched, and the characters distorted. They became long and lean like a string bean, or short and squat like a round melon!
Each of these recounted memories have a way of celebrating the joy of being together. In these moments, we were enjoying one another. We were embracing the chance to share all that we found humorous, interesting, or mystifying. Even with the discomfort of being in a cramped situation, we set our differences aside. We chose to find joy and relish the moment of being with one another.
Sister, I love you
This relationship with my sister has only continued to enhance my life. As years roll by, we persist in striving to set aside our differences. We graciously work together for the better good. We enjoy one another in a way that provides tremendous support and devotion. As we traverse these current uncertain times in life, I find myself even more incredibly grateful to have the love and friendship of a sister to depend upon.
This relationship has caused me to pause and consider how I can persevere in transferring the love I have for my sister to others in my life. I strive to be someone that can be depended on. With a mindset of working together for the better good, I hope to consistently set differences aside and listen well. Choosing to seek togetherness and understanding, I long to laugh often and extend grace upon grace in every relationship. After all, this is what my sister has continually shared with me. I simply hope to be able to share the same with the world around me.