“Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring quite often the hard way.”

Pamela Dugdale


My daughter sent me this link from NY Times the other day.


She was sure I would love it and she was right. Four sisters who have  their picture taken every year for forty years . It is definitely change in motion. If you look at each picture you don’t see it as much but if you look at the first and the last, my god, where did the years go?

I love it for a couple of reasons.  I am one of the five sisters. We are different from these girls. For us, there is twenty years difference between the oldest and the youngest. It was a terrible shock to my older sisters when my younger sister and I came along. They were grown up and getting ready to start their own families.

I think it would be wonderful if we someone had the forethought to take out pictures together for forty years. This is the last one that I can remember of us together. There are lots of one or two of us, or my younger sister and I with the grandchildren that started arriving right after me and before my younger sister came along.


This is my favourite picture, my oldest sister and I. She could have been my mother. In fact, my name was what she wanted to name her first-born girl. My mother at 43 in 1953 was a little lost for names. She had Irene, Colleen and Sharlene. My dad used to joke that my younger sister and I should have been gasoline and kerosene. We did ignite quite a kerfuffle. At 52 and 45 when their last one was born, my parents were ancient in 1955: a whole generation away from us.

What luck for me to have my wonderful oldest sister still in my life today. She just had her 80th birthday and closed down the establishment her party was held in, dancing.

Today, both our families are grown adults, we have grandchildren and she has great-grandchildren. We love many of the same things like gardening, painting and music. We really like spending time together.

She doesn’t even mind my goats.


This Thanksgiving weekend with my children and their children around the table,  I was so happy that they had siblings.  Even though, “big sisters are the crab grass in the lawn of life” (thank you Charlie Brown), I am not sure where we would be without them. “Help one another is part of the religion of sisterhood” LM Alcott.

A sister is a forever friend and I know my sister has the best sister!

2 responses to “Sisters

  1. I was random browsing and happened upon your lovely story. Thanks for sharing it.

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