I sat in 28B holding my sisters’ hands. The take-off and landings are the hardest for me, so when I booked the trip, I put myself between them. They are not scared. I am. I squeeze their hands for the first five minutes, those first five when the flight is most likely not to make it—extremely infinitesimal chance, according to one of our four brothers. He pilots one of these silver birds; he knows. But then, he always acted like he knew what he was talking about anyway. We still love him, we love them all. But this is only about sisters.
My sisters are used to my in-air neuroticism by now on this, the last of four flights to complete our trip. We have never before flown on our travels, always by car. We take off out of O’Hare, we will land in just under two hours. The sun is setting to the west, and on the opposite horizon the full moon is rising. We climb above them both. This is something I have never seen before and may never see again. It, like our latest adventure, is priceless.
We have had the time of our lives. We always do. This time it was on a beach.
I have always been close to my sisters, but over the last nine years, they have become my best friends. They are always there for me, and I do what I can for them. We don’t see eye-to-eye on everything, but that’s okay. We respect each other’s differences. We don’t argue. We keep peace; we have to. We have no choice because our mother saw to that in The Letter.
We know of many women who don’t feel such peace with their sisters. Women who may want to feel it, but don’t know how. Women who have the choice to opt out of peace and harmony. We don’t have that choice, and that’s okay. We don’t need it. We do feel the need to share our peaceable ways, to share the love. We don’t always know how, but it usually involves simple advice like, “Figure it out,” “It’s not about you,” “Let it go,” or “Life is too short.” Advice that sounds easy, but is harder to put to work. Most importantly, we teach by example. This, my friends with and without sisters, is how we do it. We would like to help in whatever way we can.
Perhaps we can help you too. That is why we are here on this blog.
Life is short. We learned the hard way, and will never forget that lesson. We use it now to celebrate our sisterly bond, to find all the joy we can on our travels, and to simply have fun every day, traveling or not. Fun, we have observed among others, is generally under-exercised and underrated. We refuse to follow that example. We try to compensate for all the fun our mother never had the time or the money to have, as well as our own share for our lifetimes. And then some.
We post some of our antics on social media, but not all. Some things, however, that happen on our trips, well, you know where they stay. We don’t share it all. We do, however, share enough to show people we have unparalleled fun; experiences that most people don’t think of having; don’t think is possible. It is with us.
Many people ask—some in a coy, shy, roundabout fashion—if perhaps they might possibly be able to come along on one of these trips someday with us, maybe? Perhaps? They see the fun we have, and they want to be a part of it. Who wouldn’t?
The short answer is no. The long answer is hell no. Our sisterhood is the exclusive price of admission. Nothing personal.
These are sister trips for us only, because only we three understand the importance of this time together as sisters. We celebrate the joy in the moment, remember the good times of the past, and relish the lessons life and loss have taught us. We stay positive. It is a choice, and we choose positivity. By and large, we don’t let crap creep into our lives. We ain’t got time for that. There is too much fun to be had; and we are out here having it.
It is fitting that our usual getaway destination is an active gold mining town. Cripple Creek, Colorado is nestled behind Pike’s Peak, and in its heyday, it’s gold production rivaled the California Gold Rush. The mother lode was struck there, and it became a boomtown. There are beautiful mountains there, but no beaches. And it was time for the beach.
We had already hit the mother lode, and the father lode too. They were, quite simply, the best. Now, we celebrate our sisters in the Sister Lode.
Most people wait five years to observe a milestone cancer survival date. We’re not like everyone else, so my sister chose to celebrate it at four. Besides, she knows. She has an unshakeable faith in God, in her good health and long life ahead, so why not celebrate now?
So we did. On the beach. Her choice.
Since we can easily make friends even with someone as cold as a snowman, we had no trouble signing up a fresh batch of folks we now call our friends in and around our new favorite warm, sunny beach town. No snowmen here. We have new BFFs in this delightful place; we could probably eat Thanksgiving dinner with them if we asked. We might. Except that our oldest sister hosts Thanksgiving every year, so we probably won’t. We will all be at her house. Perhaps we will invite some of them to join us there.
In order to make these friends, we may need to go against some socially prescribed norms. I’m all for that, rules are meant to be broken, or at least stretched, so we do. Anyone who might have the good fortune to be around us when we are in this friend-making/rule-breaking mode will easily see that we mean business in our fun. We make our own rules, and if we need to break them and remake them, we do. For example: We just met this group of locals in this hole-in-the-wall bar, and most outsiders like us wouldn’t even talk to them, but we do, and when we leave, we will hug them and tell them we love them, and we will mean it. Or, it’s probably not generally acceptable to most people to hug the manager/host as he greets us upon our arrival in his restaurant, or to dance with the owner—complete with a dip– as we leave, but we do it anyway. We’ve told our life stories to the hotel clerk within five minutes of meeting her, made her laugh like never before (she says), then made her an honorary sister on the spot.
Most people wouldn’t dream of these antics. We don’t dream of it. We do it. That’s the difference between them and us. We are doing it, and, if you want to, we want you to do it too. Whatever it is. Whatever makes you happy, sister. Whatever brings you peace.
I will celebrate the wonderful sorority of true sisterhood through the bifocal lenses of Real Life and Real Loss, always from a place of peace and positivity. I’ll double down—no, triple down–on optimism, with a healthy shot from each of us. We want to share the love with you.
You, and perhaps your sisters—if you have any.
We’re here for you; right here in this blog. Thanks for coming along.