“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”
― Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market and Other Poems
Aside from my parents, who were both there from even before I opened my eyes to this world, she has known me the longest. When I was growing up I probably would have described her as a sister rather than a friend. The fact that we were (and are) so different always seemed like a reason to keep my distance and forge the path ahead of me, while she did the same in the seemingly opposite direction. And yet our proximity meant that whether we liked it or not our hearts were being woven together. We would clash and fight with the abandonment that is only present in a relationship where both individuals know their bond is defined by something which runs deeper than any number of moments of conflict. Our teenage years were fumbled through as both of us tried to figure out who we are and what the heck we’re doing here. We grew up, left the house, studied, started our first jobs and the physical distances between us inevitably grew. She was no longer a part of my daily life, her absence an ache in my heart. Seeing her from afar I began to take stock of her beauty and strength – it is a list I add to constantly: She is not afraid to stand up for what is right and speak the truth. Where I love harmony and shy away from conflict, she seeks it out knowing that if you care about someone or something, reconciliation is worth fighting for. She is loving, generous and kind. She is a woman I continue to learn from and be amazed by. Now where we live on almost opposite ends of the planet, reunions grow sweeter from one year to the next as I continue to relish the revelation that she is not only my sister but also one of my dearest friends.
PS. I also have a younger (baby) sister. You can read more about how wonderful she is here.