a sister’s prayer

13 Jul

I had the blessing of a visit from one of my two younger sisters this week. Although I feel confident that I am living in the right place here in Ohio, I often wish that I wasn’t separated from my immediate family by hundreds of miles. I sometimes see my parents and sisters as seldom as every six months. There is distance, literally and otherwise, between the lives we lead.

Some dear friends are preparing to welcome their second child this month, and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how being an Oldest Sister has shaped my identity. The unfortunate truth is that I have not been the best sister. With the benefit of a quarter century of hindsight, I can appreciate that having sisters who are very different from me is a gift. I have learned so much from both my sisters and I’m sure there will always be new things to learn. But I didn’t always appreciate the differences in our personalities, our preferences, or the choices we made.

Holding my sister T when she was brand new. More laughter, tears, secrets, and episodes of Full House awaited us than we could have known back in 1988.

I have shared more with my sisters than anyone else; between moving from continent to continent and fighting over who stole whose favorite scarf, we have been through a lot together. I can only hope now that we’re women, not girls, we will be able to honor and love each other more than in the past.

this was taken yesterday. 23 years after meeting my first little sister, much has changed... and some things have remained the same.

There is much more to be said about becoming someone who loves her sisters well. The truth is it’s something I’m trying to learn how to do better. For now, I want to share some of the prayers I’ve been praying for my little friend V as she becomes a Big Sister.

May you love each other because of and in spite of your differences. Your sister will not be the same as you, and that is a blessing from God Himself, even when it’s hard.

May you teach your sister new things in love, and be willing to learn from her things you do not know.

May you forgive each other freely whenever there is hurt between you. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.

May you find the balance between sharing joyfully with each other and respecting the sanctity of personal privacy.

May you treasure your sister above your things, above your reputation, even above your time.

May you recognize and appreciate the bond you share, because you will understand each other as no other friends can.

Readers, any hopes or prayers you would add to this? For those of you who are younger sisters, how did your older sisters love you well, or how could they have loved you better? For those of you with brothers, any differences in the dreams you would dream?  For those of you who are only children… I hope you didn’t find this post too alienating!

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6 Responses to “a sister’s prayer”

  1. Julie Longacre July 14, 2011 at 12:46 PM #

    not too nice of you, katie, to make this poor pregnant woman cry a river! :) my 3 younger siblings mean the world to me, so even though transitions can be rocky, i feel that i’m giving violet one of the sweetest blessings possible! it’s fun to see the 2 pics here of you and your sister. i love this post!!!

    • hopingfor July 15, 2011 at 11:49 PM #

      thanks julie! i definitely didn’t mean to make you cry. and while this post (and my thoughts) have focused more on the responsibility sisters have to each other, i agree that having a sibling is a wonderful gift. i can’t wait to meet your sweet blessing very very soon.

  2. Erin July 16, 2011 at 2:51 AM #

    hey there cuz! So… as sappy as this makes me sound, I actually started to tear when I read this. Im so glad you got to see your sister. I know its been a while. I hope and pray for all the same things listed above for Abby… and clearly for Sawsha and Leah too.

    One thing that I have experienced in regards to sisterhood that not a whole lot of people get to is an effective generation gap between myself and the two not-so-little-anymore ones. Abby will know me better than either of them ever will… but I still hope that someday they consciously view me as a friend and not just the distant sister or subconsciously as a role model. It can be scary having that added pressure on you… but knowing the people they are and having a slightly more grown up perspective on things makes me appreciate the differences they bring to my life- even if its not an everyday thing. :)

    Miss you. Hopefully will make it to Ohio after the Bar (July 26-27). Dont tell the fam… it’s a surprise!

    • hopingfor July 17, 2011 at 11:55 PM #

      thanks for your comment, erin! i don’t know how i didn’t know you were keeping a lawyering blog. i’ve added you to my google reader and i’m going to try to leave you some comments later this week. you’re a great writer and i always appreciate it when you take the time to detail your thoughts on the law/justice/patriotism/God.

      i know your relationship with your older set of siblings is different than with the “little girls,” who can hardly be called little these days. it’s funny what a difference a few years can make. i remember i always thought jesse and meghan were SO MUCH OLDER than me, when really there’s a gap of 8-6 years.

      i would LOVE to see you post Bar. you’re welcome to stay with me if you need a few days to unwind with some privacy. i’ve been thinking of you a lot the last few months and praying as you prepare. it would be great to celebrate the end of this season with you! definitely keep me posted on your visiting plans.

  3. Jon L. July 17, 2011 at 6:37 AM #

    This is SO sweet, Katie. I can’t wait until later today when Violet gets to meet her baby sister for the first time. I think it’s going to make both Julie and me cry.

    • hopingfor July 18, 2011 at 12:01 AM #

      thanks jon! it was such a joy to meet your new little flower this evening and to see the videos of V with her new sister. i can’t wait to see the bond that grows between those two. what a precious thing.

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