Saturday, March 14, 2009


Sure enough, those boxes of pictures I wrote about yesterday made me want to look at more pictures from the past and as I did I noticed how many I have in which I am there, with a strong woman (or women) standing behind me, beaming as they look into the camera.  I choose some to share with you over the course of the next few days.  Just looking at these pictures reminds me how lucky I am to have these people in my life and how generous they have been.

Those are my sisters there on that lion, with me at the front, clinging on to the mane. As the youngest, I never experienced the change that the bringing-home-of-the-sibling caused. My family was set when I was born, my sisters already there, permanent, like planets in space. I joined them and took my place in the family, naturally and without effort. I made my way through life with some struggle, but always with the inner knowledge that my journey had been made so much easier by their earlier sojourns. Even though I am at the front of the lion, I know they are the ones who helped tame the lion and who urged me to hang on, even when times got tough.

Even though my sisters and I now live in four different states and have very different lives, we have grown closer as we have gotten older.  We e-mail each other nearly every day and try to all get together at least every few years.  At our last family reunion, I looked around the noisy room, filled with my sisters, their children and their grandchildren and I marvelled at how incredibly lucky I am to have these women in my life. Each one brings a different and unique gift to this party of life.  For me, the most important gift they give is the sense that even though I am behind them in birth order, in the more important metaphorical sense, they are behind me, their support and encouragement always there. I hope I have given them the same gift.  The truth is, I am crazy about my sisters and love every one of them.

We have taken countless pictures over the years, most of the time lining up in birth order.  I take my place at the end of the line, happy to be there, thrilled that this latecomer is included in this beautiful string of pearls.  We turn one way, and I am in front with my sisters all behind me. We turn to face the other way and I am right there, standing strong behind each one of them.  After the picture is taken, we drift naturally into a circle, and what a lovely, lively, strong circle it is.

Thanks, Sisters.  Thanks for everything.  Thanks for it all.


Susan said...

Could you give first names to the sisters behind you in the picture? I love it-- great entry!

Bossy Betty said...

Of course, I think they would be fine with that. The sister directly behind me is Jolene, then Kathleen, Eileen and Marlene. This was a rare instance in which my mom did not line us up in birth order. Eileen is actually the oldest, but Marlene was put on the back. This is a fact that she has not overlooked, by the way.

Glad you liked the post! Thanks for the comment.

Susan said...

I notice a big resemblance to a very young Evan in this picture too! Thanks!

Bossy Betty said...

Oh Yes! I think there's some of me in the boy!