Written by: Luisa Parish & Sarah Cousineau
A few months ago Kerrington approached my sister and I asking us to write a guest blog for sister’s week. When we asked what topic to focus on, Kerrington suggested that we write about fun memories that we had together as children. We both hesitated…
Now, I would assume that most sisters could spend days reminiscing about their lives together, but my sister and I have a slight hindrance when it comes to remembering “fun memories” together. The trouble is that we really didn’t get along that well – in fact, (to be quite honest), we didn’t like each other at all growing up!
It wasn’t that there was anything wrong with the other person per se. We were almost 6 years apart in age which really didn’t help! And so I (Luisa) looked at Sarah as my baby sister who was simply an annoying little brat, while I (Sarah) thought Luisa was mean, cranky, and full of unpredictable mood swings. It was a recipe for many unpleasant days together to say the least!
We were young, of course, and quite oblivious to the precious relationship that God had given us – but now, as we sit together to look back, we can see how good God has been in giving us each other.
I (Luisa) remember sitting in my Aunt’s living room at the age of five. My brothers and I were waiting to hear the news of our newest family addition. I was already outnumbered two-to-one by my brothers and was hoping for a sister. When the news finally arrived that a little girl, Sarah, had been born I was beyond thrilled! The happiness of that day didn’t last very long, however, and as time went by I began to become less and less thrilled at the presence of my new baby sister.
Again, it wasn’t like there was anything wrong with her necessarily – it’s simply a fact of life that when a girl becomes a teenager there are times and places when she must be left alone…yet, it seemed to me at the time that Sarah wasn’t catching onto that fact very easily! I couldn’t understand why she was always coming into our bedroom when I wanted to be left alone and she was always touching my private belongings.
Let’s be real, though: there are always two sides to every story! I (Sarah) wanted attention when I was a kid; and as a young girl growing up around older siblings I just wanted to belong and be a part of the crowd. My siblings all hung out together, so why couldn’t I be included? All of you younger sisters out there can empathize with me – sometimes when you just want to hang out and be included you’re met with a slammed door or rolled eyes instead!
This all added up to much unnecessary tension and turbulence in the very relationship that could have been one of the most special parts of our lives. If only something would happen that would make us see past the petty arguments – if only something would help us see what a treasure we really had in each other…
Let’s fast forward a few years to January 2007. I (Luisa) was 20 and I (Sarah) was just 14. We didn’t know it at the time, but our family was about to face one of the hardest challenges to date; and we, as sisters, were about to learn just how precious the life of a family member can be, for it was in that year that Sarah was brought within reach of death.
After weeks of some strange symptoms and routine checkups at the doctor, a terrifying discovery was made: Sarah had a serious brain aneurism!
Suddenly a whirlwind of appointments and doctor’s visits plagued our family. In a matter of two weeks Sarah was diagnosed, tested and was on her way towards a massive brain surgery. Although the hope was that everything was going to turn out well, the doctors kept warning us that she could die. We had to trust her in God’s hands. We prayed and we prayed, and the more we prayed and journeyed through this trial together, the more I (Luisa) was beginning to realize how deeply I cared for Sarah. In those weeks I realized how many years I wasted fighting with my sister, and in a single moment she could have been taken from us. I felt like I had failed to love and cherish the sister God had given me. That was the turning point for me. I decided that I would hold her closer; I would spend more time with her, and would include her in my life without constantly pushing her away.
That was the season when things changed for me (Sarah) as well. I was forced to grow up a bit. I was dealing with situations that most 14 year olds don’t have to deal with, and as I started to grow up and mature I realized the same sort of things that God was teaching Luisa: life is short and precious and we have to appreciate and love the people that God has placed in our life. Even though it was slow, that’s when the restoration process began between Luisa and me.
Finally the day for the big surgery was upon us. Sarah was brought into the operating room and our entire family waited for her return. Just as I had sat eagerly waiting for the news of my new sibling 14 years earlier, now I (Luisa) waited lovingly for the news of my sister’s return to me – this time with a greater love for her than ever before.
The news arrived…she came out of the surgery alive and whole! They were able to remove the aneurism without causing any damage. Praise the Lord! He had returned my little sister to me!
A year passed by and I (Luisa) moved out and had to work even harder on our relationship. Not in a bad way, but it wasn’t as easy cause we no longer lived in the same house. I had to make a conscious effort to call and see her, but because of this deeper commitment our relationship was growing leaps and bounds. We love each other!
I now view her as my best friend and am thrilled when we get time to spend together. Admittedly there are moments when I regret not treating her nicer and making a conscious effort as kids, but I know that we can’t live life regretting the things we failed in, but rather we must allow God to transform us into a better reflection of Him as life moves forward. I (Luisa) am now aware of the time we have together and no longer waste our time fighting, or holding grudges. Our time is precious and we need to spend it loving and cherishing each other.
Luisa and I (Sarah) wanted to encourage all sisters, young and old, to realize and appreciate the precious gifts that God has given you! God bless you and your sisters today!