Whenever my sister Becky calls, she comes up as Becky ICE.

ICE stands for In Case of Emergency. She lives in Wyoming with her two boys, and she loves me fiercely, even though we mixed like oil and water during our formative years. Both of my sisters, Becky and Sarah, are on my home team and I know that I can call them when life gets rough, but they aren’t the only sisters I have.

Sisters aren’t just those who have the same blood running through your veins.


Some sisters are complete strangers who quietly come into your life and walk steadily through your ups and downs. She doesn’t judge how you live, how you parent your kids, or whether you have a criminal record. She is there when you least expect it and firmly stands her ground to love you when your mess is spilling out everywhere.

She’s there to help you clean up the garbage that spilled all over the kitchen floor as tears stream down your face and you don’t know where to start and it’s really more about the mess of your heart than the leftovers on the floor.

She is there when life is breaking and falling apart. She’s also there during insane Mondays or mothering moments when you’re not sure just how many more steps you can take in the LEGO manual. It’s in those moments when a bond stronger than blood is forged.

I have that in one friend.


As we ate lunch at Nick’s the other day, I mentioned between bites of my gyro that she is listed as my “person” on my medical forms.

“So, if I have a 50-50 chance of being brain-dead — pull the plug, because we both know my husband Chris won’t be able to,” I said. She smiled back and argued that if that I ever had that kind of odds she would roll the dice and not pull the plug.

My friend and I are so opposite. She’s the life of the party; I stick like paper to the wall until I feel comfortable. She knows how to let things go; I white-knuckle it until I’m ready. She tries life on like a glove; and I wear it like scarf, ready to take it off should something hurt my heart.

I was born with an extra dose of sensitivity; she glides through the tough stuff.

She is teaching me about the art of sistering when life gets hard. And really, as I think about her and my other sisters and watch my daughters grow, sistering is the best part of life. But sometimes, we’re afraid of it. We’re afraid other sisters might judge us, or they won’t understand and that maybe even, she is better than you and I.

It makes us afraid, and fear makes us miss out because the truth is, we need each other.

“If everything feels heavy right now, you might need a sister to your left and a sister to your right to help steady you, to strengthen you and hold you together.” ~ Glennon Melton Doyle

She is the essence of what my favorite blogger, Glennon Melton Doyle, writes about on her blog about “Sistering.” It’s when a carpenter adds a support beam — a joist — to a structural beam. He adds it to one side, and if that doesn’t support the structure, he adds a joist on the other side.

We, like beautiful beams, need sistering. It adds support when life is hard.

As Glennon says, “Find your sister joists. Be a sister joist.”


Posted: Saturday, January 16, 2016 8:00 am

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