I was not raised with a sister, but my father had five and my mother had three. These aunts, along with my mother’s lifelong best friend who married my father’s only brother, imparted flocks of family love and closeness. The sisters cooking together, raising children together, playing scrabble and bridge together, talking about ideas together, that joyous family stew of shared passion, history and love is what I remember as a child. As I grew older, I became conscious of the shadows of competition, triangles, and resentments that also played between sisters.
But as a child, it seemed only joy and fun with all my cousins gathering to play as we grew. Maybe it was especially precious to me because we moved away for five years and then returned to the welcoming, loving fold which I had not realized I missed.
I wanted a bigger family. I wanted a sister. Now, I have a perfectly fine and wonderful brother whom I love dearly, and share many interests and fun. In fact, he called me yesterday to tell me of a book he just finished that I absolutely had to read! But I wanted a bigger family. More people to love. A sister seemed like a good start, and after all I didn’t have one.
Alas it was not to be. Instead, my cousin, the daughter of my uncle and my mom’s best friend, became my best friend. Through the years, other girlfriends have held the place in my heart for sister. All this may be why I’ve written one novel about girlfriends, and another about two apparently different sisters.
I can’t tell you how much fun it was to write A Gift For My Sister and feel the pleasures and pitfalls of sisterhood vicariously through Tara and Sky. Because I wrote in both of their voices, it was like having two sisters! I also have the pleasure of witnessing the love and friendship my two daughters have for each other. A miracle resulted from the publicity fromThe Christmas Cookie Club; one of my dear friends found her sister!
All these thoughts swirled as A Gift For My Sister is coming to term. Too often we take our family and friends for granted. Rituals of recognition, appreciation, and gratitude can firm bonds and seal frayed edges. I thought of having #Sisterday Fridays. Each Friday, I’ll suggest a different way to appreciate your sister. You get to define sister, if, like me you don’t have one. Thank you for joining. And thank you for telling me about your sister!