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To all my acquired sisters (and brothers) out there: I love you and appreciate all that you bring to my life!

But my background is unusual, and a little fraught, and so the idea of having carried a sister with me from that difficult past into today, to help interpret what was and what is now, would be terribly sweet.

A scene like this picture above always makes me take pause. It is two sisters. Before the pandemic, I used to see them often and just like this, eagerly engaging in whatever it is they have to share, obviously friends. They report, lest I be confused, that as sisters things are not categorically smooth all the time.

I do love romanticizing the idea of two women who have know each other their whole lives. Partners in life who have seen it all. A trusted friend who knows what others do not and can engage in the lifted eyebrow communication reserved for so few in our lives.

My own sisters and I took different paths, primarily characterized by flight. One ran away physically, and the other, although she did move a thousand miles from home, fled by engaging with everyone through that effective distancer, anger. I haven’t gone as far away on the map, but my world is profoundly different than the one I shared once with them.

I’ve always thought it would be fun to have a sister. But it’s kind of too late now. One is gone at the hands of breast cancer and the other has herself hidden far away. There was so much threat in our lives we learned not to trust anyone, even each other. Real communication, like sharing our feelings about anything as it seems these two sisters above have been doing for a lifetime, that’s off the table.

Too bad, too. I was always up for it.