When I studied holistic nutrition I mostly learned about eating healthy to nourish your body and mind, but I also learned that nourishing your soul is equally important for your wellbeing. My sisters and ‘sister friends’ are nourishment for my soul. In fact, I sometimes think they’re part of my soul. My younger sister can finish my sentences and sometimes say things out loud that make me think, “Hey, did you say that or did I?” Maybe you have had a similar experience so you know I’m not crazy.
Sisters don’t have to be relatives. They can be friends, better known as ‘sister friends’. They are usually the type of friend you don’t have to tell how you’re feeling, the same one who knows all the sordid family history and who doesn’t wait to be offered a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, they just help themselves.
Sadly, and very recently, my younger sister and I lost one such friend. On December 25th, Christmas Day, it will be exactly two months since our friend Laurie passed away. Laurie’s death is still very raw and I can’t stop myself from thinking about her, especially as Christmas draws near. I may not have always seen Laurie on Christmas Day, but I would almost certainly see Laurie sometime in the days surrounding Christmas. Usually I spend the Christmas holidays with my sister’s family at her cottage in Ontario and the cottage is where I first met Laurie.
Christmas at the cottage is always memorable and I have a very special Christmas memory of Laurie. Laurie and I had been chatting about our favourite Christmas movies and we both thought White Christmas with Bing Crosby was one of the best. Laurie owned the video and we decided we had to watch it together. Later that afternoon in the middle of her cottage, with bedlam and visitors all around us, we watched White Christmas. We sang every song as loud as we could. And, believe me, Laurie could sing incredibly loud and with complete abandon. Both of us knew every word to every song and we agreed our favourite song was the song sung by the two female leads called ‘Sisters’. What a gift to sit with someone who enjoyed the movie as much as I did and who (like me) could sing along to every word! We had so much fun and we made a promise to do it again every year. Unfortunately, time passed by and we didn’t watch it together again, but I’ll always treasure this most precious Christmas memory of Laurie.
In December, 2011 Laurie sent an email to a few of her friends titled “To My Sisters” in which the value of sisters is beautifully emphasized. The email is a story of a young woman sitting with her mother and they are talking about life. The young girl’s mother advises her to ‘never forsake her sisters’ because she’ll need them in her life. The mother also makes a point of saying ‘sisters’ aren’t just relatives; they are the women in your life. It was a beautiful message and it meant a lot to me that I was part of Laurie’s distribution.
In Laurie’s life she built a huge network of amazing friends. I know she understood the value of these friendships and it was these friends and her sister who were with her until the end. Her sister took a leave from her job to spend more time with Laurie and it was her sister that Laurie relied on and wanted by her side.
Laurie’s death has had the expected effect of making me think about decisions and choices in my life and reflect on the people and things I most appreciate.
When I reflect on people I most appreciate, one group of women stands out above all….my sisters. I am blessed to have four sisters and although our lives have been very different from each other we have an unshakeable bond. There’s a line in the song ‘Sisters’ that says it perfectly, “all kinds of weather, we stick together”.
If you read my previous blog you’ll know that I’m leaving B.C. and moving back to Ontario. I’m very excited to be living close to my Ontario family and friends again, but it is with a heavy heart that I move away from my sister and brother-in-law in Vancouver. No words can describe the generosity and hospitality of these two people. They have helped me, every step of the way, through school and starting up my own nutrition business. They were always willing guinea pigs for my nutritional experiments and they completely changed their diet. I think they would agree that the diet changes have all been for the better but, for me it was a bonus to have two such willing and enthusiastic practice clients. They opened their house, their hearts and their minds to me and I am forever grateful.
Laurie, dear friend, I miss you and whether any one sings along with me or not, I’m going to watch White Christmas and sing every song and smile when I think of you.
To all my sisters and sister friends thank you for nourishing my soul.
Happy, Healthy & Nourishing Holiday wishes to all,
ps Here is a youtube link to the ‘Sisters’ scene in the movie White Christmas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG7x8HWbDzU
pss Here is a link to a copy of the story Laurie sent in her email http://www.notjustthekitchen.com/sisters/
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