21 March 2011

Friends Right in The Family

I had no sisters growing up so when one of my brothers got married, his bride to be, who also had no sisters, said she was thrilled to finally have a sister. Our paths criss crossed after that; we lived far apart mostly, close together for a short time, had our children, became absorbed with all that goes with raising a family, and circled each other with rare but important connections. Then her world as she knew it fell apart and she and my brother got divorced. We lived half the country apart at that time. Sometimes, though, loss in one area frees up deeper connections in another.

It happened nine years ago when I moved back to New England from California and wanted to get to know my nieces better, reestablish contact with them, get to know them as adults. I called a gathering in Maine of my daughter and eight nieces. My husband's sister offered to come and help and I was glad. Then, something unexpected happened; three of my nieces called and asked if their mother, my sister-in-law, could be involved as well. If all three of her daughters wanted it, she was in. We had our first gathering in 2004. All nine young women and the three crones attended. We had our 7th gathering in 2010 and everyone has attended every year, except my husband's sister who died of breast cancer in 2007.

Magic and miracles have occurred, one of them is the friendship with my sister-in-law. Although, now I call her my sister and feel grateful that I can. In the process of sharing, supporting and being together, we've grown closer, become dear friends. We visit twice a year, shop together, gab about our grandchildren, travel together, have a great time together and look forward to more. She's had health challenges that worry her. But I know in my heart that whatever she'll face, we'll face together. We're friends; friends do that for each other.

Thanks for your friendship, G. I love you.


  1. You are so lucky. I had a 'brother' like that. He died 15 years ago. I have missed him every day since.

    I am so glad you have something like that. Keep her close.

  2. This is wonderful! Many times a "sister at heart" can be closer than a biological sister.

  3. So, so glad you found a way to reunite, to bring everyone back. I bet everyone was glad to find cousins and nieces too.

  4. This really warmed my heart. You are sisters indeed.

  5. Love this! Chance made you relatives and your hearts made you friends.

  6. How lovely, and such a wonderful picture of the two of you!

  7. Lou, I will. What a hole your loss left.
    Pat, I wouldn't know about the biological sister but, yes, this is a wonderful relationship.
    Rosaria, True! Great friendships have formed, on 3 generations!
    Sally, I'm glad.
    Lauren, Well said.
    DJna, Thanks, that was at our last gathering last summer which now take place at her house since I live out of the Country.

  8. A sweet tribute to family and friends and one who becomes the other. Lovely. I have four sisters but none of us are very close. Sisters by choice might be a stronger connection.

  9. Lisa, I like the sound of that- "sisters by choice."

  10. That's wonderful. My only "sister" is a friend I met in 9th grade. Her mom used to call me her "other daughter." My friend comes to MA from Albuquerque every year to spend the holidays with "family."

  11. Patti, How wonderful for both of you. Cherish.

  12. Posted for G by Mary:
    I don't know how to post this on your blog...
    Thank you so much for sharing. Everything you said means so much to me. I just wish that I could express what is in my heart - I don't have the words. Just know that you are a dear friend and a "sister by choice".


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