Saturday, February 25, 2012


sis•ter noun. adjective
1. a female offspring having both parents in common with another offspring; female sibling.
4. a female friend or protector regarded as a sister.
12. being or considered a sister; related by or as if by sisterhood
13.having a close relationship with another because of shared interests, problems, or the like
14. Biochemistry . being one of an identical pair.

I am blessed with three sisters, one in blood, one in soul and one by imaginary adoption.

My soon to be doctor (the PhD-kind, not the blood-and-gore kind) sister is great, and she knows a lot of stuff about things i know nothing about. She's an incredibly accomplished knitter and she introduced me to fantasy literature, the importance of Playmo-knives, piano playing and musicals, so I owe her a lot.  However, this post is not about her; it is about my other sisters, and why I dare call them sisters.

When I was 16, Ingrid adopted me. She saw my profile on some proto social network and wrote me a message saying "Will you please be my little sister", and I said yes. We wrote, we met, we shared. Two and half years ago I became the proud aunt of Åsa Helene. I met her for the very first time on my wedding day, a 3 (?) week old baby. A tiny creature I immediately adored. I spent the last 30 minutes at the hairdresser's that morning, crocheting flowers for the baby blanket I had knit her. Since then I've done a poor job being an (make-believe) aunt, but I have a cardboard box full of knits, gifts and books I've bought for her (and her mum), and always plan to give them someday. Ingrid listens, and I try to listen back. Whenever I talk to her, I feel like no time has passed. She is my sister, and I hope to do a better job in being a sister back, in the future.

And then there is Kristen, my soul sister, whose positive thoughts I feel across the Atlantic ocean, whose worries and concerns I carry with me; mulling them over until I can come up with some advice, a positive take or at least a prayer. We started out as ordinary pen-pals... that lasted about two e-mails. The connection between us, the similarities and the differences, the humor and warmth, all of it  jumped off the pages (and pages and pages) of e-mails and we connected in a way I have not connected before. She and her wonderful family, especially her daughter Ella, are always in my thoughts. Although both our lives are hectic and we therefore write a lot in periods, and rarely in others, I always make mental notes about "things to tell Kristen". When big things happen, she's always among the first to know. Whenever I'm worried about stupid things, I think "What would Kristen say about this?"

You might be thinking "these are just friendships, why call them sisters?" I consider them my family. Even in my most hermitic periods I carry them with me, and I always come out telling them first. On Christmas Eve I think of them, when thinking of my family their faces come up. When my schedule is too full I tend to withdraw from social life, making a lousy friend and a poor sister/daughter/wife. And although I know I should make more of an effort to be a good friend, I only feel very bad about neglecting my family. I feel very bad about neglecting my sisters. Because they are family. In different ways yes, but different still counts.

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