Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters -never had to have a chaperone, “No sir” – I’m here to keep my eye on her.
Irving Berlin 1988-1989. Composer and lyricist
Today, sitting here on the far side of the world, I have been thinking of my sisters. One in London and one in Los Angeles If we had set out to do so we could not have settled so far apart.
Sisters have a special kind of relationship, particularly as we grow older and move away. But a sister is also a very special kind of friend. Even if we do not see each other often, we know we are there in spirit for each other.
When my husband died my sisters were there for me although at a distance. I felt their love and sorrow, just as if they had been here with me, holding my hands.
And then when their husbands each died, I was there for them. Sending all kind and good wishes, knowing that although they had been divorced from their spouses for several years, they still shared a past with these men, and that past had produced their children.
When we were growing up in London all those years ago, we had our fights as all siblings do but we always were there for each other. And we showed a solid front against Mother if one or other of us was in trouble. Mother as the common enemy. Where else do you find this kind of loyalty?
Mother with her three daughters
We did everything together and went everywhere together, in some part because our Mother always took all of us wherever we were going. That is until we were old enough to make our own way to wherever.
Over the years our friendship has grown and I often think the quote by Christina Rosettie (English Poet1830-1894) was penned for us:
For there is no friend like a sister, in calm or stormy weather, to cheer one on the tedious way, to fetch one if one goes astray, to lift one if one totters down,
to strengthen whilst one stands.
And there are many instances of famous sisters in history and to this day:
- The Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Ann, all much-loved novelists
- The Mitford sisters, six celebrated and sometimes scandalous sisters
- The Gabor sisters Magda, Zsa Zsa and Eva again celebrated and scandalous
- Linda and Loretta Sanchez are the first sisters to serve together in Congress. Read about the sisters here.
- The Andrew Sisters. Patti, Maxene and La Verne were a close harmony singing group of the swing era.
- Abby and Ann Landers – two sisters who each wrote an advice column for two different newspapers.
- Sarah and Angelina Grimke – 19th-century American Quakers, educators and writers who were early advocates of abolitionism and woman’s rights.
And the list goes on.
So if you have a sister or sisters, count your blessings and if you don’t well I offer my condolences and suggest you find a special friend whom you can adopt as a sister. Here in New Zealand, I have two as my ‘real’ sisters are so far away.
And one last quote for the day from Clara Ortega
To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters.
We know each other as we always were. We know each others hearts.
We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets,
family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.
And a note to my friends out there – if anybody can tell me anything about Clara Ortega I would love to hear.