• 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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Last Days in Atlantis. (Historical fantasy - for young adult+ audience)

Mari is thrust into a position of responsibility as the warrior leader of the Atlantean Hill People before she's ready. She strives to make choices that are best for her and her people against a backdrop of deception and intrigue. She becomes entangled in the power struggles between her people and the rulers of the City of the Golden Gates. 

Events test her trust in the traditions of her people and her confidence in those who are dear to her: the Elders, her mother, and the young man she is expected to share her future with.  Mari believes she has failed the task and struggles to overcome her feelings of grief, guilt, and betrayal as she strives to survive the tumult around her. 

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This is the first of my children's stories about Beatrice, a young angel-in-training with one large wing. Beatrice Learns Compassion, offering a different approach to bullying, was illustrated by my granddaughter, Bella, when she was 10-years-old. It's suited to children of all ages.

The Kindle version is available from Amazon. Print copies are available to purchase through the contact page