Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sisters or Friends? Who Do You Turn To?

The best thing about having a sister was that I always had a friend - Calie Rae Turner

For as long as I can remember, I have always wished for a  sister.  And never more so, as now that I am older.  I sometimes feel quite lonely even though I have a husband, child, brothers, mother and pets. When I was young I used to pretend that my best friend was my sister.  She didn't have to do that as she had two of her own.

Oh sure, I have some close friends but we are  not as involved in each others lives as we would be if we were related.  I feel that this is true in most cases, though, I accept, not all. I do have a friend who never got along with her sister growing up and that has never changed.

But as far as I can see, that type of thing usually reverses itself. Some of my friends, though their relationships with their sisters might have been competitive and fractured growing up, are now the closest people I know. They  have become closer as they have had families and grown older.  They support each other and they count on each other as the  person/people they can really rely on, apart from themselves.

Most of my friends had children before I did and although we always met from time to time and are still in touch, we drifted apart a little. I fear I am mostly responsible for this, through my own insecurities about not having children. These insecurities meant that I distanced myself rather more than I had intended to.

Then at the advanced age of almost forty two, I had my child, only to find that my friends were at a different stage of life. I imagine that I now feel how my friends who had children when I didn't, felt, when I seemed to show little interest. 

One of my good friends has three sisters and although they are all totally different personalities, they are completely there for each other.  She agrees that growing up they might have had fights but they also swapped clothes and had lots of great nights out together.  Now that they are older, with families of their own, they meet up at least once a week for brunch as well as at family get togethers. She is also delighted that their own children have that same closeness growing up together as they did.  I  don't think I am a jealous person but I admit that I sometimes feel envious when I see them all together. 

I have cousins who are sisters and I sometimes feel like an outsider when we meet. I know they would never want me to feel like that but it's there. They know all each others little secrets and foibles and can communicate with each other in ways that I cannot. I know twin sisters who are so close, I feel as if there is really something missing in my life, when I see them. When I recently asked one of them how she felt about her sister she said ' She is my right arm. She is my best friend. I could tell her anything, no matter how bad and know she would still love me. She is the one person I would trust completely with my kids if anything were to happen to me.  I would be lost without her. In short, she is the other half of me'.  

I have four brothers who have terrific partners and although I love them all and get on with them, I wouldn't say that we are exceptionally close.  Again, I feel it's more to do with my own past insecurities than with anything they do or do not do. I have two wonderful sister-in-laws but their lives are so busy, we don't get the time to get together much.

I feel that people who have close relationships with their sisters are very blessed. The same goes for people who feel that sisterly bond with their friends.

Twins working out
What I am wondering about you all out there is.....  who is it you turn to in times of need?  Your Sisters or your Friends?  Do you count your sisters as your best friends or indeed your friends as your sisters?