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. . . on Sisterhood

Today I am thinking about sisterhood and about how special that bond is. Did you know that there is more to sisterhood than the sisters we are born with? It turns out we are partly what our genetics hand us, and also what we make up for ourselves. After the untimely death of my brother last year, I was left with a huge void. But, because of his passing new family members have emerged.

Immediately after my brother’s death, his ex-wife, from whom I had been alienated, required help managing the impact of the crisis. There were a plethora of ways Dave’s demise affected her sons, but one son, in particular, needed a lot of attention. Throughout the next twelve months, we collaborated on strategies to navigate the grief and get access to essential services for my nephews. Through this process, my sister-in-law Denise and I rediscovered our friendship and recommitted to each other. A deep and abiding respect grew out of devastating circumstances and a new Goddess-sisterhood was formed which remains deep and ongoing.

DavidMimiJoyAnother sister that emerged after Dave’s passing was Mimi. We worked on the Upper West Side of Manhattan at Betsey Johnson as sales girls in the 1980s. After I introduced Dave and her they began dating, ultimately living together until he met and married Denise in 1989. Michelle and I remained Christmas-card friends through the years but Dave and she resumed a deep friendship after their subsequent divorces in California.

When our family took an extended trip to Scotland over the summer to commemorate my brother’s life and passing, Mimi asked if she could come along. Of course, I said yes. Then, one night in Scotland after a day of storytelling and crying in the kitchen, it occurred to me that we might both mitigate our loss by declaring our sisterhood. Our mutual losses became a bridge to a reimagined family. The next morning we announced our commitment to becoming sisters to our children. Not a week goes by that I don’t get or give a text beginning with the phrase: Dear Sister.

Today, I arrived back at the Museum of Motherhood in Florida and met with Dawn Parker who managed the space and completed her Spirited Woman Summer Residency. This grant came to us through Nancy Mills, who was recommended by my West Coast Mamapalooza Coordinator, Stacy Robin— another sister. Many sisters. Many opportunities. I give a nod to all my sisters and meditate on my bountiful family. I pray we can all feel the connection that is ours to acknowledge. Meanwhile, wishing Dawn the best and opening myself to whatever this next cycle brings in terms of fresh beginnings and the ever-expanding circle of friends who make up this beautiful human family.

Dawn_Joy

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