Wait, we are NOT related?

(photo of me & my actual sisters in Waco)

I grew up in a small town in ND. The population was around 500 people at the time. We lived in a 1911 era farm house on the edge of town. Town was on one side of the gravel road and we were on the other. We had a hobby farm with a few cattle and some sheep. My parents’ friends lived less than a block away. My mom’s best friend was Lois. She was the one who helped fix my hair when my mom was out of town. They stuck by my parents through some rough times. She was the first example of a “sister friend.” Even though my mom has many sisters, they didn’t live in the same town. Lois has been my mom’s Gayle. Oprah said “everyone needs a Gayle. Someone they can call up anytime. Someone to listen, not judge and be honest with.”

When my husband and I got our first house, we ended up living pretty close to them again. Our kids grew up hearing us talk about what they were up to and visiting just like relatives do. Recently, my oldest son and I were talking and somehow mentioned Lois. He said, “Wait, we are NOT related? I always thought we were.” I’m not sure what relation he thought we were, but he knew that we were close. I said, “It is kind of like you guys growing up with our Jessie and her kids. You spend more time together than many cousins and get along better than siblings.” It made sense to him then. I didn’t tell him Jessie is my Gayle because he’s not a fan of Oprah and he wouldn’t know what I’m talking about.

To be a “sister friend” is an honor. You get to love someone like your sister. If she already has a sister, you are not taking her place… you’re filling in, being there physically, enhancing each other’s life. I know that if I called up my sister friend, she would first off know something is wrong because I’d rather text… but she would listen and be there. When we lived closer, we’d go for walks. Literally miles would be walked – more or less, depending on the events of the day and the status of the kids. We still keep in contact, almost daily. We both miss our in person walks, but we will settle for the texts and the time we do spend together because we get each other, just like sisters.

This week, I am lucky enough to be traveling with my sisters to Texas. We stayed with my niece and her husband, met up with our aunt, uncle and cousin. We’ve laughed and eaten, walked and driven, laughed and eaten some more. We’ve crossed things off our bucket list and tried new things. We’ve had fun shopping and enjoying the 75 degree weather (it’s 112 degrees warmer than MN was last week!) Our time together is short, but we are thankful to be together. Whether you have a sister or a sister friend, take time to cherish them. Include them in your life, let them know how much they mean to you. Even if life takes you in different directions, you can always make time for each other. I’m 150 miles from one sister and almost 2,000 from the other, but they are in my heart every day.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. And if you’re in Waco, stop for the cupcakes at Magnolia bakery. They are amazing!

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