Posted by: Admin | January 10, 2012

A Shared History

I am both blessed (and cursed ;-)) with two younger sisters. Every year, we say we are going to make more effort to get together. This year, we actually made a January meet-up and spent last night in the cinema (watching Meryl Streep’s version of Margaret Thatcher).

As they chatted in the bar (over cappuccinos in polystyrene cups – oh yum!) I realised that these girls, 5 and 7 years younger than me, are getting older. I say “they chatted” because I find it difficult to get a word in edgeways. It was ever thus – in our house, she (or he) who shouted loudest and talked the fastest got the most attention and I never did have the energy to compete, preferring to bury my nose in a book (“stop wasting your time reading, Jo, and do something useful!” – Hang on – how did Mum get in here? :-))

Anyways, they were talking about their various aches and pains and the latest new diets embarked upon. And I thought, you know what, if we had been sitting here last year, or five years ago, or ten, we would probably be having the same conversation. That’s the thing about sisters – love em or loathe them, they are part of your history.

I just read back over the preceding paragraphs and realised the tone could be read as quite tetchy. So I ought to say right here, right now, that I love my sisters, that I actually wouldn’t change them for the world, and that now we are all getting older, I really would like us to sustain the effort to see each other once a month!

This image snapped at my 50th birthday party last year probably sums us up, though. The photographer said: “Come on ladies – pout for the camera!” (Honestly, Ian, have you EVER seen me pout?) Caz was there in a flash, Sal played along gamely, and I was caught checking them out with a “what the-“ expression on my face.

image © IPS Photography

 Which brings me, way down the page, to my 14 Day Thankfulness Project:


Because, the point is, like my brother, they were at my 50th birthday party, along with

image © IPS Photography

their families. They have been at almost every family celebration, helping with the food, washing up, burning up the dance floor, showing that they might not always like me, but they love me, just as I do them. That’s a pretty powerful certainty to carry through life and forms part of my bedrock.

These women are strong, funny, talented and loyal. They have each faced life’s ups and downs with fortitude and grace, being there for each other through cancer, divorce, loss and struggle, yet they can still sit quite happily and discuss, at length and in detail, exactly what they had to eat today and whether their bowels are working properly.

Because that’s what sisters do – they bring you back down to earth. You know they remember you as a scrawny kid with her head on the clouds, and will have no hesitation of reminding you of that fact should they ever deem it necessary. And by the same token, they are at the front of the crowd when it comes to applause and encouragement. I am grateful for both of them.


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