Saturday, around lunchtime, I got a call from my sister. She was halfway to Ohio (from upstate NY) and was coming to surprise us, offering Todd and I a date night, and she was bringing her massage table. She recently became a licensed massage therapist.

Upon hearing the news, the kids let out a big, “YAY!!!!”

After a really dark stretch, it was like she brought the sunshine with her. We made up for Todd’s birthday dinner, taking a long walk to a new restaurant, not once looking at the clock, and walking back leisurely at night. We used to walk at night all the time before kids. The energy is so different at night. We had our best talks then. We’ve really missed it. But there we were, holding hands, talking, laughing, making plans. It was sooo good.  

Sunday, we went to church (more on that amazing experience later, it was a good one) and then Kelli and I were off for a free day, at the art museum, the Botanical Gardens and shopping for a certain b-day girl who will be ten this week. 



Later, in the evening, Kelli insisted on getting out her massage table. She went to school for a year and a half to learn massage, and in all that time, I’d never asked for a massage from her. I was insecure about it.  There was always a reason not to do it, but this time I allowed it.

It was a profound experience, being massaged by my sister. Our relationship was hijacked when we were very little girls, by alcoholism, poverty, and lack. Dysfunction did not draw us together, it made us hole up in our seperate corners, saving ourselves the best ways we knew how.

We’ve been working on our relationship for years, but during the massage I let all mistrust fall away. It felt like all the hurts we’d heaped on each other from childhood on, any unloving we did toward each other became untangled, melting away with each loving touch. There is so much more to be said about the experience, but I am not quite ready to write it yet. Let’s just say both of us were crying at the end, and a great healing had taken place between sisters.

So now, I can tell a new story.

I’m no longer “the island.”  The one with no family support.

I have a sister, who drives five hours to give us a break, to support us, to nurture me.

I am loved, and I am blessed. 

She is on her way home now, after having stayed two nights. Todd and I got a second moonlight walk in last night after my massage. I still can’t believe she was here. It was an incredible surprise.

Thank you Kelli. I love you.   


  kelli profile 2010

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23 Responses to Sister

  1. Courtney says:

    This made me cry. So lovely.

  2. kario says:

    You are right. You are not an island. What a lovely, lovely gesture your sister made. It’s a testament to the love and honor you send out into the universe every day, my friend, and I am so pleased that some of it came back your way.

    You are both awesome! I hope HT enjoyed his birthday dinner…

  3. Niksmom says:

    Such exquisite love and healing. I’m trying to swallow down the lump in my throat but the tears keep running into my mouth. I surrender. xo

  4. “Our relationship was hijacked when we were very little…, by alcoholism, poverty, and lack. Dysfunction did not draw us together, it made us hole up in our seperate corners, saving ourselves the best ways we knew how.”

    OMG. Never before have I seen in words what my brother and I experienced. I am so sorry you all went through it too.

    Can I tell you what it does for me to read how you put our similar experiences into words? You totally stop me in my tracks sometimes.

    I don’t think my brother will ever “get it” because he associates all that mess with love. He thinks that is how loving families behave and treat each other.

    I am so glad you and your sister have moved beyond that.

  5. Kim says:

    in tears over here. So amazingly lovely. So glad you are no longer an “island” as I know what that feels like all too well.

  6. Carrie Link says:

    This made me cry, too! What healing!

  7. Bonnie says:

    How nice! I love that you could have a nice night out and the massage too. And a re-uniting.

  8. Kathy Sullivan says:

    Tears flowing here as well. I am so happy for you and your sister and the healing you were able to experience. I must say that through your words you pass that healing on to many others, myself included. Bless you both.

  9. Lydia says:

    There’s nothing like a sister. My oldest sister would protect me from anything, and I feel the same way about my little sisters. It’s a deep love that runs through us. God bless you both.

  10. Amanda says:

    I love your sister!! Glad you had the break you badly needed and so happy you healed the rift. 😀 XX

  11. Chloes Mom Mary says:

    Wonderful…this brought a tear to my eye. I am so glad you now have that wonderful family support. It has been a long time in the making but so worth it.


  12. Betty says:

    Beautiful experience!

  13. It sounds so cathartic for both of you. Love.

  14. Jerri says:

    Amen, indeed.

  15. Kristen says:

    So lucky to have your family fairly close. Donny and I hope to move to Endwell one day for the family =)

  16. Deb says:

    What a beautiful sister you have, and how wonderful you’ve given each other this gift of acceptance and healing at this time of your life. Love this story.

  17. One Mom says:

    Wonderful! I’m wiping tears from my eyes right now…I’m so happy for you.

  18. amber says:

    Wow! How WONDERFUL. Her. You. All of it. 🙂

    “Dysfunction did not draw us together, it made us hole up in our seperate corners, saving ourselves the best ways we knew how.”–

    What a great way to say this.


  19. Kathryn says:

    How beautiful. What a gift in more ways than one. You know I was just saying to a friend the other day that I love walking at night because my mind is so much clearer. I feel the noise of the day has quieted. I am so happy about the healing between you and your sis. Great pictures!

  20. Kate says:

    That is wonderful! And such great pics.

  21. naomi says:


  22. Mary says:

    Wow, I wish I had a sister like that!

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