The Worth of Sisters

“You may be as different as the sun and the moon, but the same blood flows through both your hearts. You need her, as she needs you…”

― George R.R. Martin

I have two sisters. 

I had no brothers, but I have several sets of cousins who are brothers, and in each instance I watched as they grew up with one another and saw how competitive they were – the younger striving for the most part to emulate and be better than the older in whatever the older did – sometimes academically (eventually going to the same university and choosing the same career), but most often in sports. I’ve never asked or been told how this competition affected their relationship with one another – did it bond them closer together sharing the same interests, did it cause resentment in the older that little brother was a copycat and in competition with him, stealing his thunder and sharing in what should have been his glory, did the younger do it because he wanted to prove himself to big brother or to best him somehow? How much of it was shared interests? How much was mere jealousy? And, now as grown men, has any of this affected their relationship or influenced how they’ve raised their own sons? I’ve never had to experience any of that. (Admittedly, at times I’ve wondered what might have been.)

I have two sisters.

With them there wasn’t any significant competition with me, or I with them, we each excelled in our own different ways. Athletically – as a male – there was nothing they could do to directly compete in the same sports I played, and academically we all had different interests and went to different colleges and in different directions career-wise. But they have given me another dimension of insight to my own childhood and adulthood I would never had realised had I only brothers, only seeing things through masculine eyes – I’ve learned from them a different and more rounded perspective of our family and the events we shared together growing up. They also indirectly taught me an understanding of women – even if that understanding is wrapped in an enigma no man can explain or truly comprehend – and an ability to share it with my two sister-less sons as they grew into adolescence and adulthood, of what girls are like.

I have two sisters.

We are individually different in many ways, as are the sun and the moon, but our heart’s blood forever joins us, their worth and my need of each grows stronger with each passing year. And, for whatever my worth or their need, they both have me, their big brother.

– Bill


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