“Sister. She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink. Some days, she’s the reason you wish you were an only child.” – Barbara Alpert

I grew up with two younger sisters. I thought of them recently when I saw three t-shirts with the sayings, “I’m the oldest – I make the rules; I’m in the middle – I’m the reason we have rules; I’m the youngest – The rules don’t apply to me.”

I don’t think these sayings apply only to sisters, although my sisters would most likely agree with all of them. I, however, being the oldest, take exception to the oldest one making the rules – I’m quite sure I had nothing to do with that.

My sisters and I had “giggling fits” all of our lives. As young children, one of us would remark about something which started the other two laughing. Sometimes we laughed so hard we couldn’t stop for several minutes. Our stomachs would hurt, the tears would be rolling down our faces, we couldn’t breathe, and we still couldn’t stop laughing. Finally, one of us would get up and leave the room so that we could get control of the situation. That would usually break it up and we would all settle down. Sometimes two or three hours later, one of us would bring up the same subject and the laughing would start all over again. Now that we are adults, the same thing happens when we all get together. It is a deep belly laugh that feels good and sort of clears everything out of your mind.

Another quirk my sisters and I have is buying greeting cards. With one sister living in Michigan, one for a while in Virginia, and me in Vermont, special occasions were celebrated with cards. For our parents’ anniversary, there were several years in a row when two of us sent the same card. We had no idea what the others were sending, but as soon as my parents opened the envelopes, we would start laughing. This happened several times over the years for birthdays, Christmas, and other holidays. I wish we had kept track of the times this happened. We might have had a Guinness World Record.

The bond with a sister is very special. She is your best friend, keeps secrets, and stands up for you. You may be going through a bad time, but talking it over with her can make it better. If it’s the middle of the night, you can call your sister if you want to discuss a problem. It isn’t even necessary that she gives you advice – you just want her to listen. You can trust her. Sisters are on call 24 hours a day. They are your companions. They may argue with your point of view, but at the end of the day, all is well. Heaven help anyone who argues with your sister because they will have your wrath to deal with.

Sisters are fun. They help you plan birthday parties, babysit your kids when you need a breather, loan you a car, and visit you when you don’t feel well. You can go to lunch, shopping, a movie, or for a walk and her company is the best you can find. Even when life takes you in different directions and possibly different states, it makes no difference. Your conversations pick up where the last one left off.

National Sisters’ Day is the first Sunday in August.

For those of you without a sister, you can celebrate the day with your best friend. She may not be related to you by blood, but she can still be the best “sister” you have.

Several groups of sisters have become famous. I can remember as a little girl my mother watching the Lennon Sisters who sang weekly on the Lawrence Welk Show until 1968. To this day I can still remember their names: Diane, Peggy, Kathy, and Janet.

One of my favorite groups is Sister Sledge, four sisters who had a No. 1 hit in 1979 with “We Are Family.” In 2017 the National Recording Registry selected “We Are Family” for preservation, and Billboard magazine named it 20th of their 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time. The Pitts-burgh Pirates even adopted it as their theme song in 1979.

Sisters can be a potent force. They have your back and what more could you ask? They love you through your worst and best times. They are part of your history forever.

Life is a journey. If you are fortunate enough that your sister is your best friend, then you are blessed indeed.