One thing that totally irritates me is forced intimacy. I don’t mean sexual intimacy, although forced sexual intimacy would be a whole different topic. What I’m talking about is the “hon”, “dear” and even “sis” or “sister” that people might claim. The whole idea that I might be your “sister” based on some shared interest or shared belief just boggles my mind. To me that word carries power, meaning. And to fling it about so casually, attaching it to people you’ve just met, is just ridiculous. So, I wrote this little piece. And since I had nothing else written, and I’m determined to write every day, I will share this bit of prose:
Are you my sister?
Have you held me in your arms at the side of a dirt road as my world crumbled into glittering pieces at my feet?
Have you heard the scream of utter despair that rose from somewhere deep in my wounded soul, and still held on?
Have you washed the stiff blood from my hair, fighting the tightening in your belly at the sight and the smell, but still, carefully, and with love, worked till the blood was gone?
Have you left home, and family, and husband to sit in an old rocker beside the couch where I lay, for three days, dead to the world, horrified, shocked, numb, and each of you in turn came, and sat, demanding nothing but that I walk through that pain, and emerge to your embrace on the other side?
Have you held my face in your hands and looked into my eyes and seen the pain and darkness there and not turned away?
Have you put raw wool into my hands, and shown me how to card, so that mindlessly I could pull and straighten the wool while the pain of such horrendous betrayal clawed at my heart and soul?
Have you danced with me in the woods, laughing and singing, and shared the cup in perfect love and perfect trust?
Truly, the women who answer yes to these questions are my sister. To call any other “sister” or to allow them to call me “sister” belittles what these women have done for me. It takes away from who they have been, and continue to be, in my life.
A sister is one who walks through the fire with you, knowing she too will be burned, but faces that pain, with quiet courage, and takes your hand, and steps into the flames.
Are you my sister?