Sister Love


I’m sitting with my twin

as drugs drip through the IV in her arm and try to combat the swelling in her brain and spine.

But we’re not here.

We’re all crowded and smooshed in our egg split down the middle in our mother’s belly.

How many people get to share everything from the very first moment of existence with another?

We’re little girls with skinny dark chocolate legs, singing songs and building forts all over Panama, speaking in our made-up secret language, playing hours of Atari, riding bikes against a pink sky. We’re getting into fights and dishing out the ultimate jab: leaving the other out of nightly prayers, “And God bless Mommy and Daddy and Chelli and Gena and the dog… and I can’t think of ANYONE ELSE, dear God. Amen.”

You are Laura and I am Mary from Little House on the Prairie. But since Mary goes blind and then loses her baby in a fire, I get to be Jo in Little Women and you have to be Meg. You are Marcia Brady and I am Jan. On the Cosby show you are Sondra and I am Denise (although Denise gets a little wild and I am not very happy about that). You are Kelly on Charlie’s Angels and I am Jill.

You are the outgoing one; social butterfly. I am the quiet, studious one. You win Nicest Smile at school. The yearbook comes out and there’s a big picture of you and your nicest smile… and my name under it. I laugh and laugh for days. You do not.

You’re walking down the aisle on your wedding day and I’m crying the ugly cry because you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

I’m there, laboring with you through every single contraction until your precious daughter graces our world. You are amazing and strong, I sleep on the floor beside her your bed knowing I would do anything, absolutely anything for you.

The infusion nurses think we’re here. In this place where we face our great fears, where the pain burns behind our eyes. But we’re giggling at one of a thousand inside jokes.

We’re thanking God for this gift of sharing and burden bearing. Rejoicing when the other rejoices; weeping when the other weeps. I’m filled with deep joy that my own daughters know it, have their own extraordinary version of it. Companionship that needs no words. Memories that bind. Deep soul-connected togetherness. Nothing like this kind of sister love.



My sister, my sister. Always with you.

19 thoughts on “Sister Love

  1. Oh honey, beautiful, searing words. You both remain in my prayers and my heart. Always. Love you to pieces and I’m so, so sorry for the pain. No one deserves it less.

  2. I thank God for my sisters, I have seven, we share the bond of sisterhood. There are no twins so we don’t understand the twinism that you two have. Be blessed, may all goes well with Nay.

  3. Oh, Jeneil! It jumps off the page and floods my heart. My prayers and love are with you both. And now I’m going to go call my sisters. xo

  4. Absolutely gorgeous. You. Your sister. This.

    And hilarious: “And God bless Mommy and Daddy and Chelli and Gena and the dog… and I can’t think of ANYONE ELSE, dear God. Amen.”

  5. Oh, those photos! I can hardly stand it. A four-way tie for the Nicest Smile award. (And Rhema also takes home the knock-out-drop-dead-gorgeous-curls award)

  6. beautiful. love it! also the yearbook mishap…HILARIOUS. If I had a twin and this happened I would laugh for years – 🙂 If I had siblings I would hope for a relationship such as this. For now I nurture it in my own children.

  7. I don’t know what’s happened to your twin, but I will be praying for you both. Continue to allow the memories and the love wash over you!!

  8. Praying.

    Would it be terribly ugly of me to say I envy you your close relationship with your sisters? My sister and I have an okay relationship as long as I don’t talk too much. She doesn’t like talkers…..blessedly, I have friends who are like sisters.

    So happy you have the joy of this closeness.

  9. I don’t know what has happened, but this post has left me very alarmed. I hope everything will be ok. Praying for your beautiful sister and for you, and for the whole family xx

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