INTRODUCTION

From Chicken Soup for the Sister's Soul

Introduction

“She’s always there for me,” “I can call her day or night,” “I can tell her anything,” “I’d be lost without her.” These are just some of the phrases we found repeated in the thousands of inspiring, heartfelt and humorous stories that were submitted to us for Chicken Soup for the Sister’s Soul. Whether connected by genetics or the heart, our sisters know us in a way no one else can. We’re cut from the same cloth, molded by a unique shared experience. Our sisters know what it was like to grow up where we grew up, when we grew up and with whom.

We are at once girlfriends, shopping companions, confidants, rivals, sounding boards and more. These invisible ties stretch and bend through times of closeness and distance, yet, in all but the fewest cases, we remain inextricably connected.

We conceived of this book as a gift to our own sisters; however, we hope that it inspires you to recognize the essential role your sisters play in your lives. You’ve probably noticed that when you’re going through a challenging time, your natural inclination is to reach out to another woman. When we talk with our biological sister, or a chosen sister of our heart, we feel less alone. Knowing that we can count on our sister in a time of crisis or to celebrate good news brings great comfort. With our sisters, we can ramble through our internal landscape—no agenda, no planned outcome—just to listen and be listened to.

What’s more, our sisters are a storehouse of our most treasured memories: snuggling under the covers in the middle of the night, taking baths together, rehearsing for school plays and piano recitals, experiencing family vacations, shared secrets, first bras, first menstruation, first boyfriends. . . . These collages of memories create the foundation upon which every sister relationship rests.

Sisters share. We share the joy of a first love, the pain of rejection. We often entrust one another with our most private thoughts: to them we can confess to ludicrous things we’ve done, along with never-uttered aspirations and dreams. Our connection with our sister is strengthened because we share the gifts that are reaped from having survived a family’s darkest hours. Sisters often share our burdens as well as our joys; the pain along with the triumphs.

And let us not forget our brothers. Even though we can rarely discuss uniquely feminine issues with brothers in the same way we can with women, we still share a unique biological and emotional connection. So we’ve devoted a chapter especially for brothers, those special souls who first helped teach us about the opposite sex by showing us how to climb trees, how to wrestle as well as any boy, and how to follow instead of lead on the dance floor.

The stories in Chicken Soup for the Sister’s Soul are all about love, overcoming obstacles, family, growing up, moving away from home, becoming parents, losing parents and the bond between generations. We hope that you will cherish these stories as much as we do. We’re thrilled to celebrate this unique relationship. We hope this collection will reveal the magic of sisterhood and inspire you to appreciate how truly blessed you are to be and have a sister.

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