Ode to my sisters

Lynn Horton is a freelance writer and editor who in another lifetime taught English and Creative Writing at McIntosh High School and later worked in the Starr’s Mill High School Media Center.

This weekend my sister came from her home in Auburn, Alabama to join Bill and me at the opening of Claudia Wood’s one-woman Fabric Art Show. We were all greatly impressed. No. We were “Awed!”
It was a wonderful evening, and I was especially glad Deb was with us. She also had the opportunity to attend the Writer’s Guild on Saturday morning and was treated to a lively meeting. She said later that she was so impressed with this second “Art” experience; I agreed that the readings given by my fellow members were exceptional. She said she loved hearing the welcomed criticism; sharp, supportive, and encouraging. It is so nice to see things that I love through another’s eyes. It is especially wonderful to see them through the eyes of someone I know, love and most of all, of someone whose opinion I trust implicitly!
I could not help but think of the song and dance team from “White Christmas” where Rosemary Clooney and Vera Miles dance in gorgeous, sparkly blue gowns with giant feather fans, singing “Sisters, Sisters.” It is now stuck in my head. I don’t exactly see Deb and I doing that…of course, I would grab that fan in a minute, but she is so much more reserved. We are very, very different people, but we are very, very close and I love that.
I am extremely grateful for my sister. I think back to growing up as an “almost” only child, (I was 10 years old when Deb was born and 14 when my sweet brother James came along — brothers are a different story). I did get a lot of attention and did not have to share my toys, but I did get lonely sometimes. Debbie and I were never close until many, many years later. We had nothing much in common. I liked boys; she liked horses. She read Science Fiction, for crying out loud, and I read Historical Romances. I loved to eat and was chubby; she was willowy, 98 pounds fully grown. It was not for another 10 years when she finally had children of her own that my sister and I became really good friends. Then probably another 10 years when we finally became Blood Sisters — bound by experiences only the two of us shared.
We signed up for a program called BOW — Becoming an Outdoor Woman. Like two pioneer women sheltering from the March winds, we tramped about the woods of lower Alabama; using our hand-carved walking sticks to create a safe path, climbing into a deer stand (with a compound bow!), cooking biscuits over hot coals in a cast iron dutch oven, and attempting to make pine needle baskets while Huggin’ Bear (a 75 year old mountain man) told tall tales around a fire we had made from damp leaves and twigs, with only a flint and stone and our own hair as fire starters! Twice a year we got together and joined other “sisters” to learn how to field dress a deer, throw a hatchet, shoot skeet, fly fish and study the flora and fauna of the area in and around Lake Lure. I recommend it.
Happily, there is more than one way to become Blood Sisters and over the years. I have had the good fortune to be part of a large family of some exceptional women. Females who have shared common goals, common interests, common beliefs and common experiences. Females whom I have loved and whom I believe have loved me
Two were schoolmates sharing slumber parties, boys and gossip, then, several young wives and mothers who shared my earliest fears and joys about our babies and our husbands, usually over a cup of coffee or sitting in the sandbox with our kiddies
Another is a woman with whom I shared school committees, Scout troops, and years of family vacations. Later, during my teaching career, I added two or three teachers to the list of Sisters. I will admit, unhappily, that I have a few holes in my heart where a person I loved as a sister for years became cold and unresponsive. When I retired, many people that I had spent years with simply disappeared from my life and this did hurt; many tell me that it is normal. The ole “out of sight, out of mind,” I found is true. And it’s okay. Probably as much my fault as any others. But there were some that, as Louis Grizzard said, “Tore out my heart, and stomped that sucker flat!”
There are at least five women with whom I once spent hundreds of hours in Bible Study; there can be no more precious hearts than those loving one another and loving the same Savior in the same moment. I rarely see or even talk with them (even though social media is an option); yet I know they continue to love me, and they must know that I will also love them forever. These are my eternal Sisters in Christ. Precious. Precious.
Today, there are two young women who have become more like daughters than sisters to me because of their ages. We share a trust that allows me to believe they would save my life if the situation ever demanded it. I love them very much. They, too, are my Soul Sisters.
It is my hope that each of you, dear readers, have siblings in your life, blood sisters who mean as much to you, or that over the years, you have added many sweet and dear friends to your heart who love you from the bottom of their dear, kind, sincere, and faithful hearts. It is true that some of these women are no longer in my life, but they will remain attached to my soul in a forever way. Can you name them? Do so. It will make you feel Good!
Happily, for me there is always Debbie. My “Sister. Sister.” There’s that song again.

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