Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Sisters and Aunts

I feel sorry for any woman who doesn't have sisters and aunts.

My last post was on February 12, I see.  Usually, there's an inverse relationship between the level of activity in my life and the number of blog posts happening--more of one means less of the other, you know.

A month ago Paul and I went to the BMA Ministers' Weekend in Virginia, conveniently close to my sister Rebecca's, then Rebecca and I drove to Pennsylvania for two days with our younger sister Margaret.

The last two times we were together were Mom's funeral and Dad's sale, both times of unbelievable stress, hard work, and cooking for 20 people.  Of course, we had our moments of collapse-at-the-knees laughter in the middle of all that.  But most of it was the sort of stress that makes you shudder at the memories.

But this time we had two days together, and we could just have fun.  So we did.  We shopped at Amish stores.  We got massages.  We talked deep, we talked shallow, we laughed, we remembered.
Did I mention that we laughed?  Here's me, Margaret in Grandma's old bonnet, and Rebecca showing us what we look like on her camera.
Sisters just GET you.  They understand asthma, husbands, sons with Those Yoder Genes, and obsessions--with fabric, with bargains, with needing to talk about those awful times one more time.  They were there and they know what you went through.  They know how much it hurt to have babies and they never never say horrible things like, "Well, it wasn't PAINFUL for me exactly, more like a lot of pressure," like other women do.  Sisters eat cookie dough straight from the bowl and they like purple and warm sweaters and they don't look at you with a blank look when you pull an obscure quote from The Biggest Bear.

This past weekend I spoke at a ladies' retreat in Illinois, then we [Paul and I] drove to Iowa and spent two days with my aunt Vina, Mom's only sister, who was ten years younger than Mom but probably her closest friend and confidante.

I wanted to know what they were really like as sisters.  Not only as a mom and aunt sharing secrets in low tones as they peeled potatoes together, but sisters, and why Mom told Vina things she never told anyone else in the world, and how they could be so alike and yet so different.

The long talks filled a thirsty part of my soul, it was like a little taste of Mom again, articulate and observant and so very funny, but yet not Mom of course, but an aunt who was just as wise and interested in me and honest as an aunt ought to be.

Aunt Vina and me

Of course most of the stories are not for the world to hear.  I write this on the plane, flying home, and I am itching to pick up the phone and call my sisters and tell them everything, in every detail, giggling like silly town girls* or wiping tears, because that is what you do with sisters.

I am so blessed.

*my dad's worst-ever label for us, a reference that sisters will Just Get


  1. When we were "younger" it was sometimes "dangerous" for us sisters to sit together in church, because the same things tended to strike us really funny. LRM

  2. I very much miss my aunts, sisters-in-law and sisters back home. 8 years, 5 months until freedom...

  3. I love, love this and GET it! Because I have three sisters and a few very dear aunts. Now I miss them even more!

  4. I knew instantly what "silly town girls" ment. Mom used to say "town girls" and it was NEVER a compliment.