Friendships that Last a Lifetime

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Friendships that Last a Lifetime | Life as MOM

I didn’t always think we were friends. Nope. We weren’t in the same classes at school. We didn’t share the same taste in music. We didn’t even get along that well, despite the fact that we often dressed in coordinating outfits.

But, God knew better.

We fought, we argued, we stole each other’s stuff. Well, honestly, I think I’m the one who did those things. I was not a very nice girl.

It took awhile to figure out that these pesky girls were okay kind of people. In my teens and twenties and maybe part of my thirties, I thought you had to agree on stuff to be friends. I thought that you needed to have common interests, like a job or kids the same age, in order to be really good friends.

While my sisters and I have certainly had overlapping interests over the years, we took pretty different paths. I homeschool and have a posse of children. Jamie, a manicurist, loves animals and has a great sense of style. Janel lives on the east coast while her husband finishes law school, volunteering at the public school where her two girls go to school.

Friendships that Last a Lifetime | Life as MOM

Over the last twenty years my sisters and I have been through a lot: three weddings, multiple miscarriages, infertility, eight babies. Janel and I each have moved cross-country and done a stint living far from home, leaving Jamie to wonder what would possess us to leave home in the first place.

My sisters are the lifelong friends that God gave me, even though I didn’t know it for quite a long time.

Better late than never, I say.

My sisters were my only attendants in my wedding. I learned by the age of 21 that friendships are fickle. The girls I knew in grade school, junior high, high school, college? Our friendships had ebbed and flowed. There was drama. There were hurt feelings. There were misunderstandings and broken friendships. I was often the square peg in the crowd, not entirely fitting in or feeling “bien dans ma peau”.

Despite our own internal drama, I knew my sisters would always be there for me. I wouldn’t wonder someday what had become of that bridesmaid in the picture. My sisters were “for me” even if we didn’t always get along.

In that time and space, I knew my sisters were my friends.

Friendships that Last a Lifetime | Life as MOM

And also a lot taller than me.

My mom sets us a good example in this. She has three sisters. The aunts all live in Minnesota, my mom being the one to move far away. I know from the stories of their childhood that they weren’t always “friends”. But they are now.

They talk regularly. They send packages. They write cards. They will grow old together, laughing and loving each other.

I’m a total slacker in this department. Total. Slacker. My sisters, and my mother, for that matter, are lucky if they get a text, let alone a phone call! But, I’m working on it.

Friendships that Last a Lifetime | Life as MOM

That’s why I was thrilled when I saw the cards Hallmark sent me to connect with old friends. My sisters are the oldest friends I’ve got, even if it didn’t always have eyes to see it. So, I’m putting together a series of “Just Because I Love You” mailings for two of my best friends.

Flipping through the samples, I see my sisters in these cards. I know whose getting the bling of bangles and who’s getting the French guy, who’s getting all the dogs and cats and who’s getting the ice cream and cakes.

Fun fact: Sarah Jessica Parker designed some of these cards. I am old school, unfamiliar with her recent work, but I’ve always felt a kinship with her: the name Jessica and being a square peg. I get that.

I know that my sisters will love me if they don’t get mail from me. I just want them to know I love them.

Who is YOUR oldest friend?

How do you keep in touch? Do you send fun mail just because?

Friendships that Last a Lifetime | Life as MOM

Disclosure: I have been compensated for my time spent writing. I have also been sent free product samples. All opinions are my own.

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Comments

  1. I have 2 sisters, and I’m the shortest one, too. :) I’m the one who moved far, far away, while my 2 sisters & 1 brother all live in the area around my hometown. We keep in touch by cards, Facebook, e-mail, phone calls. It’s so nice to have the instant contact the internet gives for things like that!

  2. True friendships are rare things. I loved this post, Jessica, and after the week I’ve had, I would agree that some of my most steadfast friends are found right in my own family. They love me for me, even when they don’t understand me. Despite the 20 year age difference between my oldest sister and me, we share common interests and learn from one another. Yes, my sisters fit that spot of “friend”, my mother and father, and, more than anyone – Peter. :)

    • Carrie, you have a 20 year gap between you and a sister? My oldest is 31 and my youngest is 11, and so much alike! I have been praying for the “gap” between them to close as Chica grows older and for a sweet fellowship to develop between them. At Christmas I snapped a photo of the two of them, side by side with their “screens” (iphone and ipod) playing games and sharing wall paper images.

      • Hi Michelle! :)

        Yes, I have four siblings who were 13 (girl), 16 (boy), 18 (boy), and 20 (girl) when I came along to our parents as a surprise. :) As a child, I had a different relationship with each of them – it was almost like having 6 parents, rather than 2 and siblings. :) However, over the years my relationship with each of them has changed. Getting married changed a lot of things and they all love my husband (who rather breaks up the age gap by being 7 years older than me). I’m now 32 and have a wonderful relationship with them all, including my 52 year old sister and my 72 year old parents. :) I can’t imagine growing up any other way. Loved it! :) At 11 and 31, it’s different than 31 and 51. Give them time. She was always a great sister to me, but now she’s a wonderful friend and sister-in-Christ.

  3. Jessica, thank you for this post! I have 1 sister to whom I am seeking to be a better friend. My daughters each have 4 sisters, and one of my heart’s desires is for each of them to KNOW she has 4 tried and true blue forever friends.

  4. I’m always so envious of those with sisters. This is a beautiful post!

  5. Personally, I have two sisters as well and nearly cried as I read this post. Beautiful. Glad we could help connect you three. :)

  6. This was a beautiful post. My only sister died 32 years ago this weekend. She was almost 8; I was 6. Her death happened suddenly but it changed me forever. I have often wondered what my life would be like if she was still here and I miss her. I’ve been blessed to have a couple of friends who have been like sisters to me, even though life has taken many different turns for all of us. And I love to watch my two girls–who are 9 and 7–navigate their sister relationship. My prayer is that they will always cherish one another and understand the special relationship between sisters.

  7. I really appreciated this post! I am the oldest of 9 and 6 are girls. I was not the most awesome sister, impatient and selfish most of the time. But by the time my I was in college (at 23 – late bloomer) I began to see how precious these girls were who hadn’t gone anywhere. I recognized my “kindred spirits” in my mom and sisters. My sisters and sister in law were my matron of honor, bridesmaids, and junior bridesmaid. They’re still my dearest friends!

  8. I’m kind of like you. My oldest friend is my sister, who is 21 months younger than I. We fought. I avoided her and tried to play by myself for a couple years there, but we were always buds. We got closer than ever as we matured. We’ve both moved from “home,” but she went farther. We don’t even live in the same country. As for mail, for her birthday this year, I bought stationery and Forever Global stamps. In my first letter, I explained that I didn’t make any promises about frequency, but my present to her was letters. Because we both like writing and receiving letters. It makes her day to get post from me, and it makes my day when I carve out time to put a pen on some beautiful paper and ramble away to my best friend. In fact, it beats phone conversations since most of our talks are the punctuation between saying things to our little kids. :)

  9. Pamela J says:

    I just have to say that in your Easter picture, your sister Janel looks just like FishChick 5! I had to look at the picture caption to make sure it was really your sister instead. Thanks for this beautiful post…God blessed me with 4 sisters and 2 brothers. They are truly some of the best gifts He gave me.

  10. Jamiegets says:

    Love this post and YOU!

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