Sunday August 7, 2016 was National Sister Day, it was only appropriate that I spent that day with my sisters. We had such a joyous day wedding dress shopping for my sister who is to wed next year and annoying one another. I’ve always felt the happiest and safest when in the presence of my sisters. Free to just be. Sunday was no different. I thought it was only right that this week I spent some time celebrating those sisters. The women who has a great influence on shaping the woman I am today. Today I want to share a few of the greatest life lessons I’ve learned from those three women.
My sister Bumni is the eldest of the eight children my mother bore. She is the child who made my mother, well a mother. She is eighteen years my senior and sometimes she thinks she IS my mother (rolls eyes). As a child, I was as close to her as I was to my mother. Due to pregnancy complications my mother was hospitalized after my birth. My first few days in this world, Bumni watched over me. I was born during her senior year of high school, due to her care taking she almost missed her high school graduation. This is just brief insight into the sacrifices she gave to support our family. She is one of the cornerstones that kept my family afloat for many years.
My brother was a nuisance growing up and everyone knew it, including my friends. One day Bumni caught me talking about my brother with my childhood best friend and she later said to me, “Deborah, you never let anyone talk about your family. Not matter what happens. You take up for your family against others. Family always sticks together. I never want to hear you talking about your family with others again”. I think that is one of the greatest lessons in family I learned at the early age of eleven. It greatly shaped who I am as a person because my family, especially the ones born after me, are my motivation for many things. It’s so much more that I can say but here are two of the greatest lessons I learned from my sister Bumni..
Life Lesson #1: One of the greatest sacrifices you can make in this life are those that benefit the betterment of your family. For through your sacrifice you will reap great reward and your life will ultimately be blessed through those you have sacrificed for.
Life Lesson #2: Family Over EVERYTHING.
My sister Felicia is my second eldest sister and the third eldest child. She is an interesting character, to say the least. She’s honest, intelligent and a “tell it how it is” type of person. We affectionately refer to her as “The Encyclopedia” and she daily lives up to her name. I think she is the most brilliant of my mothers’ children. She literally knows everything. Trust me it’s a gift and a curse because she truly is a know it all (rolls eyes again). You can ask her anything about anything or anyone and she’ll have an answer. Jennifer use to refer to her as her “secret weapon” but those are funny war stories that shall be told another day. When I became a teenager I was closest to Felicia. Shamelessly referring to her as my favorite sister. She always seemed the most understanding of my sisters. I call her my “Ma 2”, you know like my second mother. I think I am most like her, well at least my mother says I am. You’ll either love her or hate her, similar to myself. We are both to our core no-nonsense, hot-headed and tell it how it is. I think our greatest differences are I’m an idealist and she’s a realist.
Growing up I loved music but early on I only listened to music by African American artists. One day, Felicia sat me down and explained to me that music is beautiful as an art form and it doesn’t matter the artist behind it. Just love the art for what it is, not the face behind it. From that day forward I began to explore and love all genres of music; hip hop, soul, jazz, country, rock and so on. She taught me to simply be open. As an African American, it isn’t necessarily cool to be a book worm, especially as a child growing up in Kentland. She encouraged my love for reading and the beauties in that. My love for travel and the mysteries in that. It’s so much more I can say but here are a few of the greatest lessons I learned from my sister Felicia..
Life Lesson #3: Have an open mind. To new people, new places, new cultures, new foods new experiences. How can you say you don’t like something, if you’ve never tried it? You won’t know that you like it, until you try it!
Life Lesson #4: Be unapologetically yourself, in the fullness of who you are. Like what you like, do what you like and be who you are. Do not worry or care about who does not like you for it or has a problem with it. Be forever great and don’t dumb down your greatness for others.
My sister Jennifer is my third eldest sister and my parents’ fourth eldest child. She is my mother’s favorite child. My mother will deny it but we ALL know the truth (rolls eyes again). If you are to meet her, you’ll know why. Everybody likes her, everybody loves her. Well at least everyone that I know who’s ever had the pleasure of meeting her. One conversation with Jennifer and people are instantly smitten by her. Me personally, I hated her growing up lol. No seriously. I am not sure if it was because we are the closest in age but we just did not get along. I’m the child that made her a big sister, so maybe it was just a big sister little sister feud. I did use to steal her clothes for school and put them back before she got home. I even stole her license once to get in a 21 and over club when I was 18 (her reading this will be her first time hearing that story). All and all I think Jenn was the angel God set in our family to bring a sense of peace and harmony. In adulthood she has grown to be my best friend. The type of best friend that you always dreamed of when you dreamed of a true best friend. The best friend you tell all your secrets to and know they will never reach the ears of another soul. The type of best friend that you want on your team. The type of best friend who takes the best pictures of you. Jennifer is the first one in our family to illuminate what it meant to walk in the fullness of a life in Christ. She is the one who prayed down heaven and hell that I would know Christ like I know Him today. Her life is a real life bible story. I always say, if God ends the world and restarts it again, I believe in the new book she’d have her own book. It’s so much more I can but here is the greatest lesson I learned from my sister Jennifer..
Life Lesson #5: Love God with ALL your heart. Not half of it, not the half you’re okay with giving Him. Love God with your all. Seek after Him fervently and any and everything you ever need or desired will be added to you. In this love, you will live a truly blessed life.
There is nothing like sisters. They are truly one of the greatest and first blessings God has given me. There is simply nothing like family. It is my belief that our greatest strength and blessings lie in our family units. God is strategic in all that He does. The family that He set us in is no different. No family is perfect. It is our duty to appreciate the family that He has given us and learn to live in harmony with one another! Our birth families and the ones we develop with our spouses.
Until next time…
I wish you
LOve and HAppiness