I don’t have a sister. I don’t have someone who gets my crazy because she not only grew up with me, but also shares a little bit of the same genetic crazy. I have brothers. Brothers are more likely to hold you down while they fart on, or torture you with their hobbit feet (I have a serious thing against big hairy hobbit feet). I love my brothers but they are too busy to be my sister, they have their wives and children to take care of. Growing up, the closest relation to a sister that I had were my cousins. They stole each other’s clothes, they bickered over who was the fat sister and who was the thin sister and they happily admitted me into the clan whenever I was around. I adore my cousin sisters and miss them very much. It is that unconditional love and acceptance that is a feeling like no other.
As a child I knew that my cousins loved me. I did envy the fact that they were so beautiful, so confident, so carefree, so comfortable in their sisterly and womanly ways, whereas I always felt I was stumbling through my self-esteem and lack of confidence. It is truly interesting as the years pass that I have found that sometimes they thought the same about me, because I honestly did not feel worthy, and doubted my certified membership in the sister club. My eldest cousin once said to me that I was like a sister to her. Could that be true?
I didn’t truly feel worthy of sisterly love until about eight years ago. That was when I reconnected with my childhood friends from New York. It had been eons since I saw them last, because I had gone off and moved to Maryland, married and divorced, and had created a life away from them. I always felt a void during those missed years because these three women had played such an important part in my formative years. I consciously disappeared from their lives. I had cut and run from them in an effort to disengage and give myself permission to make the mistakes that I was destined to make.
The three of them went on with their lives together. They stayed on Long Island, they married childhood sweethearts, had their children, created extended families and wondered “what had become of Lorraine.” I was an expert at hiding and not leaving tracks. This was before the age of Facebook and it was easy to lose touch. There was however, classmates.com. After my divorce I reached out to one of those friends. I can remember being so scared, believing that she didn’t love me as much as I loved her, that she didn’t feel the way I did about our childhood, that I was an impostor in the group of four friends, I was the Sesame Street of “which one of these is not like the other.” I was not worthy.
The four of us met for dinner in New York while I was on a business trip. I was embarrassed and felt wildly uncomfortable meeting with them. Whilst the three of them chattered away, ordered their Mexican food and tried to cram twenty years of lost friendship into our conversation, I sat at that table feeling a mixture of happiness and despair at the same time. The happiness came from the joy of reconnecting with my old friends and the sadness and despair came in the form of questioning my own worthiness and a belief that I was not allowed to be accepted back into the fold. I was not permitted to feel like the prodigal son. Those were the lies I told myself.
I have learned a very valuable lesson. Sisters are not necessarily blood related. Sisters are those women in your life that love you unconditionally, they see you for who you are and know that you are truly worthy of their love and friendship simply because they see the goodness in your heart.
To all of my sisters. I love you. I couldn’t imagine life without you. If you have a sister that you have lost touch with I want you to know that you are worthy. Find her and tell her that you love and miss her.