My granddaughter wrote a wonderful piece for The Huffington Post where she is the Family & Relationships writer (why not brag) that was so poignant that I thought I would share it with you. It’s about sisterhood – something deeply important to me. In fact, David York Agency is founded on sisterhood. You see, I started this agency with my sister, Ruth, in 1985. We were inseparable until the very end.
Life was kind to them — they traveled abroad together, spent summers at beach clubs and laughed over weekly Friday night family dinners. But there were also curveballs. When my Bubbie was 45 years old, my grandfather passed away, leaving her scrambling to raise four kids on her own. Ruthie was always around to help — though she too became a widow of sorts when her beloved ex-husband passed away three years later. Their husbands had been taken from them, but they had each other. Bubbie always called Ruthie her “soulmate.” As I dug the shovel into the mound of dirt at Ruthie’s burial, the pain I felt was not for my late great-aunt, who led a long, fulfilling life surrounded by people who loved her. The pain I felt was for my Bubbie, who now has to live out the rest of her days without her sister.
Living With My Bubbie
Model for Sisterhood
This was the model for sisterhood that I’ve had during my life, one of unwavering loyalty and devotion. I also grew up with one sibling, a sister named Claire who has been my best friend from the day I was born, just 20 months after her birth. Between year s of inside jokes and moving across the country together, we also have our own language. Only I know when she’s injecting a ’90s movie quote into conversation in her deadpan expression; only she knows when I need her to come in closer, even when I tell her I need to be alone.
The Power of a Sister
Clinging to Sisterhood
Once I put down the shovel at Ruthie’s funeral, I stood under an umbrella with my sister. I saw my Bubbie, huddled with her children, watching as more wet earth separated her from the wooden box in which her sister lay. It was as if the dirt we were shoveling was scooped out from inside Bubbie’s body to cover Ruthie. A lost sister is a void that cannot be filled — you can’t replace a soulmate. As the rain beat down on us in the cemetery, I clutched Claire’s hand, desperately hoping that the day it was no longer there would never come. I hoped that if I squeezed tightly enough, the universe would make an exception for us. But Ruthie forced me to confront the fact that death makes no exceptions for sisters, no matter how tightly they cling to one another throughout life.