Some children are born into a life of autonomy. They stretch their bodies across years, touching nothing but vast expanses of air, learning to stand and walk without leaning on another. Those children never have to fight for their place in the world, to negotiate and strategize and manipulate the bounds of family and love and individuality. They have all the space and time to unfurl their limbs and minds without crashing into someone else's.
And then there's us. Sisters, friends, enemies, allies. An impermeable circle of genetics and memory, we were born into an order and a definition: first, middle, baby. Our earliest movements -- shifting tightly in the womb, rushing into a too-bright world, struggling fiercely against receiving blankets -- brought us directly against each other's flesh and words and hopes and dreams. We were born with the smell of each other's skin in our noses and the feel of each other's skin on our fingertips.
Our histories are a triple helix of sight and sound that cannot withstand separation. When one is angry, the others feel the painful reverberation in our bones. When one is happy, the others flutter with excitement and joy. Two bend conspiratorially together to whisper fresh secrets into eager ears and the third smiles with the fullness of knowledge, secure in the swift passage of details through age-old glances and well-practiced gestures. The two are nothing without the third, the one stands strong only when flanked by the two, and the three are a powerhouse of strength and steel and might.
Sisters. Friends. Enemies. Allies. We are everything and nothing. We survived long nights of fear and rage, together. We played hard and mean, determined to shirk off the bonds of each other, together. We battled with sharpened blades and words, struck blood and bone, pieced into place the shreds and tatters of a shared life, together. We were angry, wild, hurt, and pure, together. We were hungry and we were vulnerable and we were scared. But we were together, from those first startling, watery shifts inside our mother's womb to the white-knuckled and desperate blows of adolescence to the gentle, compassionate linked-arms of now -- together.
A sister is a rising sun, a full moon, the first sweet and juicy strawberry of summer. She is a raging wind, a tidal wave, the brutal thrust of newly sharp sword. She is the thread that connects you to your most bitter disappointments and your most shining achievements, both linked forever to her solid and eternal silhouette beside you. A sister is your greatest hope, your most valuable treasure, a richness that allows you to unfurl limbs and creativity across space knowing there's a soft, warm place waiting for you.
I am one of you forever, your spirits and personalities firmly imprinted on my soul. Three sisters, thirty years, one rough and beautiful life.
This is a love letter to my sisters for the Love It Up Challenge.