From Chicken Soup for the Sister's Soul


To have a loving relationship with a sister is not simply to have a buddy or a confidant —it is to have a soul mate for life.

Victoria Secunda

My oldest was small and her sister quite tall, so folks often thought they were twins. Dressed alike in diapers and rompers or dresses and jeans, they kept me busy and delighted my soul.

They loved sleeping together under a big green quilt—my grandmother Nana’s gift to me on the day of my marriage. Made of the softest cotton and thickly stuffed with down feathers, the quilt was a symphony of shapes, holding every color of green I’d ever seen. When the girls graduated from cribs to the big double bed, I gave it to them. For most of their childhood, my girls dragged that quilt everywhere. On blustery winter days, the quilt became an Indian tent where they wiggled and giggled away the cold. On warm summer days—arrayed with their dolls and assorted little friends—it became a sunny parlor for holding grand tea parties. Always, it was their refuge from monsters and hurts.

When the girls entered their teens, along went the quilt: to football stadiums, the beach and the lake. At night, they lay under its comfort to share secrets, to laugh and to cry. That old cover absorbed much mascara-stained puppy-love tears and took quite a beating, but like autumn fruit it just got softer and better with age.

College and marriage finally parted my girls, ironically, on the same day. Into separate boxes went their makeup, clothing and books. As they walked out of their room for the last time, neither girl said a word, but I did notice lingering glances and loving fingers giving a last caress to their beloved quilt.

When they were gone, I sat for a time on their bed; the room emptier and colder already.

Then, with firm resolve and Solomon wisdom, I took a deep breath and cut the old cover in half. The following Christmas, I gave each daughter her share, freshly adorned with dotted-swiss ruffles.

Now, whenever I visit their homes, I joyfully tuck my grandbabies into their bed and cover them with Nana’s sun-dried quilt.

Lynne Zielinski

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