Sisters

"I could never love anyone as I love my sisters."-Jo, The Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

My two younger sisters and I have only three years between us all. We've been raised doing pretty much everything together. For years we all three shared a room, three little beds, repeated side by side. It wasn't for lack of space, funny enough because two rooms remained uninhabited down a half flight of steps. However, it was only the beginning of what we would share. From a doll house to clothing, sports schedules and a cell phone, there wasn't much we had of "our own". We were raised as a unit.

And whether it was a choice made more because of practicality and survival or strategic divine wisdom from the start, the fact of the matter is, I'm living testimony of the fruit, and that is, my sisters are my best friends.

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Three days before our Rosie Grace's birth, my sisters at 30 weeks and 38 weeks, (See her son, Levi Bear's, welcome here) and myself at 39 weeks.

That's not to say the road to this bond has been easy.

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Or even that it is simple now. Because the obstacles to unity still arise, and sometimes more formidably than they did when we were children. Our differences are many and amongst the myriad of choices we make as wives and mothers and individuals, are a myriad of ways we can disagree with and wound each other. In fact, between the three of us and the daily decisions of marriage and parenting and lifestyle, we find ourselves at the crossroads of harmony and dissension regularly.

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And yet, the golden rule of our home growing up cultivated so tediously, nurtured so tenderly is one with roots so deep that even in our ugliest hour, we find ourselves unable to forsake it.

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Family comes first.

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It's a funny, simple phrase, really.

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And yet profound in its application to both childhood as well as preparation for the creating and cleaving to of our own clan one day.

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And as cliche, as natural as it sounds
in order to make this truth a reality, grit is required. The years brought their many experiences of learning this hard lesson the hard way. If I reminisce long enough, and actually not very long at all, I can come up with actual stories, recall the setting, the audience, the details of moments where each of us three girls crossed the line in breaking the commandment and reaped the appropriate consequences.

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You see as a child, there weren’t clubs sans sisters, snarkiness towards my siblings meant the play date was over, right then and there, and before date night Friday nights, we sat together all five and talked about our week, even if that meant our teenage ‘tudes sat in rebellious silence. kansascityphotographer_0031

At the time, I gathered only glimpses of the profound nature of this mantra, but now as a wife, as a parent, it’s started to come together as I long, strive to impart the same value to my own brood. kansascityphotographer_0032

This isn't to say it will be a task undertaken without obstacle.

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Because my children can just as quickly (if not more quickly) find each other’s last nerve as they can find their arms around each other’s neck in the most all encompassing embrace

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that may or may not follow by a complete physical take down resulting in some fashion of bodily harm.kansascityphotographer_0035

But this chosen dedication to one's blood, it's a journey with the sweetest reward.kansascityphotographer_0036

And though, especially as sisters, I realize the odds will often be against them, kansascityphotographer_0037

as temperaments and personalities, quirks and interests will inevitably cause frustration, and more often than not the easy, simplest decision is to turn our backs on the ones who live closest to us,

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I believe in and have experienced the worth of fighting for forgiveness.

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And that unity is a gem made even more precious through the friction.kansascityphotographer_0040

And that this commitment perfected by fire of living within the space of each otherkansascityphotographer_0041

is the refining, brightening flamekansascityphotographer_0042

that carries not only sisterhoodskansascityphotographer_0043

but brotherhoodskansascityphotographer_0044

and not only that

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but will prepare tender hearts even nowkansascityphotographer_0046

for the devotion required to really, truly, forever love the ones they grow up to give their own lives to.kansascityphotographer_0047

And so, my daughters,kansascityphotographer_0048

my little women,kansascityphotographer_0049

I encourage you, invite you,

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regardless of feeling, difficulty or ease, when it's difficult, choose devotion,

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when the trials come, choose unity,

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and, my darlings,kansascityphotographer_0053

and above all, choose love.

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