• Stephanie Hammond

The freedom of sisters

I bought a little plaque in the shape of a butterfly for my sister. This weekend, I’m going to visit with her for a few days. I was wrapping my little present and read it one more time.

There’s a special kind of freedom sisters enjoy. Freedom to share innermost thoughts, to ask a favour, to show their true feelings. The freedom to simply be themselves.

I had a series of flashbacks to our times together - our childhood days when we depended on each other for comfort and strength when life was unpleasant for us; our grieving days when it was obvious our mother suffered from dementia; and again when she finally passed away; our grief when her baby died, just a few hours old; our grief when our brother died, far too young. And our happy times, holidaying together - when we were kids at the beach, then when I got my first car and we went on a road trip, and then years later our glorious week together on Magnetic Island. And all the times in between, too numerous to mention, too memorable to forget.

Through it all, I realise the bond of sisterhood has been one forged in freedom. I could share my heart with her. I could advise and even instruct her (being the big sister that’s my job!) She could tell me when I’ve been inappropriately honest (I won’t share that exact memory!) - and through all these interactions we’ve accepted and loved each other unconditionally.

We have a couple of subjects we choose not to discuss - our views are not the same on some wider issues. But matters of the heart are never avoided or censored. The years have proven this most precious of truths.

There’s a special kind of freedom my sister and I enjoy. Freedom to share our innermost thoughts, to ask a favour, to show our true feelings. The freedom to simply be ourselves.

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