The Awesome Bond of Sisters
By Virginia Smith
Having a sister is like having a best friend you can't get rid of. You know whatever you do,
they'll still be there. --Amy Li
My middle sister and I fought like wildcats when we were growing up. One of my most
vivid childhood memories is of being forcibly separated during an argument and banished to sit
together on the living room couch with orders not to get up until we could get along. I huddled
against one arm and resigned myself to living on that two-foot square cushion for the next eleven
years, when I would turn eighteen and could get my own apartment. After an eternity, Mom
entered the room to mediate. “Girls,” she said, “you are sisters. There will never be another
person in the world more closely related to you than your sister. So you’d better learn to get
along, because someday one of you might need a kidney.” Not, perhaps, the most convincing
argument for reconciliation ever presented, but it worked. For the moment, anyway.
A woman has many relationships in her life, but the bond between sisters is unique.
There is the biological link, but the connection goes beyond that. Sisters enjoy a shared past.
They experienced many of the same events that molded their personalities, and therefore they
understand one another in a way no one else can. They speak the same shorthand. If one of my
sisters says, “I know! Let’s put on a show!” we all laugh, because we remember the first time
one of us said that, and the resulting spectacle that has become family legend.
The Awesome Bond of Sisters / Smith
Sisters “get” each other without having to go into all the background. When I’ve had an
argument with my husband, I can call my sisters and say, “He doesn’t want a puppy. I think I
may divorce him.” My sisters understand my reaction immediately, because they remember
witnessing our parents’ argument over the same subject. They can talk me down from the ledge,
and away from the divorce attorneys. And they will do this even if I