What is the best present you have ever received?
November is a time of celebration for me, as it is my birthday month. On my birthday last week, I received many calls, emails, cards, texts, and visits from friends and family all around the world. I felt the outpour of love and support and am truly blessed. For me, presence is the best present!
I thanked my parents for giving me this beautiful life, as my birthday is also a special day in their lives. I also thanked them for blessing me with two amazing younger sisters. Other than my parents of course, my sisters’ presence in my life has been such a gift too. Our tight bond is one that sometimes I take for granted.
This year due to our schedules, I didn’t get the chance to be with them on my actual birthday. Even though we texted and talked on the phone, their physical absence made me realize how important their presence is in my life.
As mentioned in my last post, I don’t like defining myself by labels, but the “sister” one is an exception as it isn’t about physical appearance, it is a role (i.e., a deep relationship). For most of my life, except for the first couple years that I don’t remember, I have always been a sister. The term is really meaningful to me, and I even call it to friends who are so close that we are like family.
Even though my sisters weren’t with me on my special day, I made sure they were central to it nonetheless – I wore the beautiful silver starfish necklace they’d given me. A few Christmases ago, we’d bought one for each other to symbolize our connection. We all love starfish, so we each received variations of a silver starfish to wear. Since we’re all globetrotters, the necklace serves as a powerful reminder that we are never alone.
However, it wasn’t until my birthday this year that I realized the deeper meaning and significance to the necklaces – to us they don’t represent starfish – they represent sisterhood. Each necklace - like the young women wearing it - is unique, yet they have a common configuration. Like our sisterhood.
As the oldest, it has been really cool to see their transformation into adulthood and to have two amazing supporters who believe in me (and I in them). Even though we have the same parents, we are so different and I love it! I have learned, and will continue to learn, from them.
Thank you, friends and loved ones, for being present in my life; for loving me unconditionally and remaining steadfast. Instead of holding me back, you continually push me to the light. You give the time and space to talk deeply and openly about our lives. You taught me to be patient and how growth takes time. You stuck up for me. You gave me a space to explore and discover. You believed in me when I didn’t see any hope. You forgave me when I made a mistake. You call it out like you see it. You always make me smile. You dig deep and don’t take everything at face value. You don’t judge me. You hold my reflection back at me so I see how beautiful and powerful I truly am. You illuminate my path and help me shine. You love me for who I am. We encourage each other to achieve our personal bests! Thank you for your presence.
Instead of focusing on material possessions, I encourage you this year to really invest in deeper relationships. Presence is really the best present! Here’s to a gift that keeps on giving. Looking forward to this new year :)
Other beautiful posts about sisterhood:
- A Journey Into Sisterhood (Danielle Dowling, PhD)
Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the Comments section below.
See you at the beach!