Circumstances beyond our control, dictated a separation of sisters over twenty-two years ago.
I know it sounds mysterious...yet it is the unfortunate foundation of generational sin that caused my sister to make the ultimate sacrifice.
A mother's first priority should be the protection of her children. My sister and I were not afforded that privilege.
Forms of abuse never delved into; ignorance on my mother's part; her disdain for the female sex, and major conflicts in raising two girls and two boys, caused four children to drift apart....as sisters and brothers and ultimately as friends.
Fortunately in my life, God has placed some wonderful 'sisters in spirit' to walk alongside me as I dotted the pathway that has been before me. Fortunately there is Kerma, a forever friend. She and I met in 1981, and throughout several moves to several states, throughout death, divorce, vacations, phone calls, robberies, nursing school, vet school, jobs and my children...we've remained very close.
Sometimes it will be two months before we talk on the phone again...and yet, our conversation begins where it left off the last time we talked. I had the privilege of introducing Kerma to Christ several years ago....and we are truly sisters in spirit.
Denise, or as I lovingly call her "Benise". She lovingly calls me Quita Juanita Ouida....Denise and I became prayer partners in 1985. We were both new Christians. Me and my three children...she as a single woman with no children. She worked in an attorney's office, me in an auto repair shop. We had nothing in common but our love for the Lord....and yet He strategically placed us side by side...and we began a "ministry" of intercession that has continued for all these years.
She married and moved to Charlotte, NC while I stayed in Louisiana. And yet...God in His loving wisdom, brought me to Asheville, NC...and now she and I are two hours away...and just a phone call, email or text away. I love her as if she and I were born in the same family. She is definitely my sister...in spirit... and I love her as if she were my own sister.
I had been 'thrown to the wolves' employment-wise in 1992. While on vacation from the 'shop' as our family lovingly called it...my dad sold the business and I came home with no job, a mortgage, car payments, three teen aged children and absolutely no employable skills. I went to "Job-Link" and got my first church-lady job. I was the financial assistant for the Business Administrator of a large UMC in Shreveport. Neecee Blackwell was the graphic artist for the church. She was an ADHD untamed totally throwing caution to the wind woman. Under normal circumstances you would think a cautious, scared mom of three....being thrown into a 'lions's den' of the unknown and a spunky freedom loving married mom of a 2 year old would never have a thing in common....
But wow...did we ever . And still do. I needed and need her love of life. There is NOTHING boring about anything she does. She finds the exciting in grains of sand... a shard of color from a prism ... a hummingbird... Even now as she closes in on fifty years old, she still finds the excitement and wonder of life and living. She lives life abundantly and unabashed and unashamed. She grasps life like we gasp for air after running a marathon. She is a free spirit and totally opposite of me.....and yet....
Neecee needs my stability....she needs my ear when decisions need to be made. I taught her how to balance her checkbook....she taught me to love life. I taught her to ponder....she taught me to trust. We started a conversation in 1992, and it continues today. We are never far away from one another...thanks to the age of communication. I love her...and need her...and the comfort of our 'ya ya sisterhood' continues after all these years.
Christy... another 'church lady'. She and I met in 1999. We really did not know one another well, until she was thrown into a black cauldron we unaffectionally call "FF". Since that time, she and I have relied on phone calls, cards and her infrequent visits to "home." She respects my opinions (and I always have one) and I admire the fact that she loves the Lord constantly, continually and with a passion most people only dream of. I love Christy...because I can be totally honest with her. I know I can trust her with the deepest darkest dankest secrets of my soul...and she prays for me and loves me. She knows she can be 'real' with me...no hidden emotions....and we both carry these burdens for one another ... with love and affection.
Jill...sweet loving friend. She trusts God and lives like He's her husband. She prays and I know God listens. She and I met several years ago at work. We've become friends....good friends. We've have the type of relationship that is one of comfort....ease....we're happy just being together eating, shopping, driving, hiking. She loves me and I know it. She accepts me and I feel it, she cares and nurtures. I know I can call on her at anytime...day or night...and she'll be there for me. And she knows the same about me. She loves God with a fiery passion....I love her because she stabilizes me. She keeps me on my toes spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally...I suppose that means she keeps me well-rounded. We can talk about anything...and have. I have shared raw emotions with her...and there's a picture in my mind of two women...one has her hand on the other's shoulders...that would be Jill...she has my back...there is comfort in knowing she is there.
Janie....we met in 2004. Just a few short years ago...and yet...it continues. I knew we'd be instant friends when I met her. She has so many attributes I only hope to aspire to. She is classy, sassy, bold and loving. She and I share so many of the same life-stories. Thrown into single-parenthood while our children were so young. Janie laughs. She laughs and loves life. And then she laughs again. She is sanquinelly happy, too....and I enjoy being in her presence just because she allows me to see things a different way... with the smile of God. She has moved to Texas...and just like my other forever friends...we started talking when we first met...and we still continue the conversation today. I love Janie...she has wisdom that is the glue that keeps me together. And I know that I too have the same affect on her.
And as I think of my friends...I have the privilege of adding my daughter into this mix. A loving, beautiful woman...almost 30. My youngest friend. Our relationship still is mother/daughter...and yet it is so much more than that. We can walk around in underwear together and not think twice about it...something none of my other friends have ever been afforded...(and please.... no pictures in the mind!) Mel and I have laughed so hard together that it blinded us...and yet we have been so angry at one another it blinded us again... and I love her. I think that my life would have been so empty without watching her grow into the woman of God that she is now. I worry about her in a way that is only afforded a bonded relationship. I try to nurture her and guide her in a bold way ... and sometimes in a pushy way...and yet she still loves me...because she knows I only want the best for her. We are comfortable with one another, and I believe she is the only friend that I would truly die for. She is my precious gift from God.
Each of these ladies, Kerma, Denise, Neecee, Christy, Jill, Janie and Melissa push me to be a better person. Each of them has an attribute that I desire to have in myself. And with each phone call, text, email or card...I think "I want to be like her when I finally grow up."
And now, God has allowed me to be reintroduced to my real sister. Norma. She and I met again for the first time in twenty two years on August 28, 2008. Between us, we have raised 6 children. She two girls and a boy, me two boys and a girl. She started having children late...me early. I'm not sure that we have anything in common except our love for Christ and our birth parents...but this one thing I do know... I want to begin today to have another forever sister...my real sister....