Tuesday, February 10, 2009


As I sat next to my beautiful grandmother this afternoon in the somber quiet of the church, I couldn’t help but think it must be so intensely painful to watch as your friends all leave you behind. At 90, my grandmother has said more than her fair share of goodbyes. I don’t envy her in the slightest.

She’s tough, my grandmother. Actually, all the women in the family are. Today my mother and I joined my grandmother at the celebration of her dear friend’s life, and I thought about the legacy these women have set for me to follow. The women in my life are strong and independent, devoted wives and mothers, fierce followers of Christ. Their heritage runs deep, and I’m proud to be a part of it.

We filed out of the funeral together, the three of us. My mother, my grandmother, and me. It was a good moment, I thought. Solemn and tearful, but good. I watched as these two women comforted the man who had just lost his wife, as my grandmother grieved for the friend she'd lost. I listened as she repeated to anyone who would listen: “She was my little sister.” My dad, standing nearby, commented, “You’re part of a sisterhood, aren’t you?” She looked at him and nodded emphatically, acknowledging that yes, she had a sisterhood.

And she does.

My 90-year-old grandmother is a part of a strong sisterhood, a group of women who call each other, who listen to one another’s hurts, who visit and serve others in need.

And because I am so like my grandmother, I too, have a sisterhood. I have friends who I email and call, who hold me spiritually accountable, who I visit with and talk with. I can count them on two hands. Because even though my grandmother has many friends, her sisterhood is smaller, more tightly knit, closely woven. And so mine is too.

Mama and I are similar in that we have no biological sisters. I used to watch my own mother interact with her sisters and grow jealous because I knew I didn’t have that. But after observing my grandmother today, I understand something.

If you don’t have sisters, you form a sisterhood of your own. I’ve formed mine in cousins, in aunts, in my mother. In dear friends and kindred spirits.

My grandmother has given me so many things: my name, my stature, my faith, my spirit.

And now I know she’s given me a legacy of sisterhood. A legacy I very much intend to uphold.


jenna said...

absolutely beautiful

aunt lisa said...

well done
i love you

nee-na said...

Annie, I loved this. I hope you don't mind, I printed it off for Mama.

Anonymous said...

I am the most blessed mother in the universe! I love you daughter ~ sister :)

(why do I have to always be anonymous and neena and lisa don't/??)

bear said...

that was sweet!!

Megan said...

Beautiful post. You are a great writer!

Anonymous said...

It is a little cheesy, but I just saw Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 last week so this post jumped out at me . Thank goodness if we have a sister or not we can still form strong, fun, encouraging sisterhoods.

The Stewart sisters have their own sisterhood, yet I never take for granted the bonds that I am blessed to form with a few select women in my life.I think you are the same way, cherish these special people in your life b/c they are there for a reason!