I am blessed to have four sisters-in-law: Kate, Stacie and Gina, who are married to my brothers, and Desiree, who is Kegan’s sister. While they are all deserving and will inevitably receive their own reflections within this project, I find myself today thankful for them, collectively.
It was a rarity—but over the course of the past two days I actually spoke with all four of my sisters-in-law. I had a question I needed answered and so I reached out to each of them. They all gave me wonderful advice, and reminded me how lucky I am to be a part of such a large family, and the joy, support and love that one’s extended family brings into life.
I truly don’t remember life before Kate; since my brother Don and I have such an age gap between us, I am pretty sure they started dating when I was only 7 and were married when I was 9 and a half (to the day, I know, because it was my half birthday). Not being able to comprehend life without Kate is something I feel literally and also emotionally—she’s always been an older sister figure in my life, a mainstay, someone who I know I can always rely on, because she’s been there for me more or less for the entirety of my life.
Gina became my next sister-in-law when she married my brother Dennis. I still remember the day that I met Gina, when I went with them to play mini golf, and I had an instantaneous affinity for her. She exudes such compassion and understanding it’s always been natural for me to be extremely open with her, and through that we’ve become very close. She’s also been a spiritual role model for me, someone who lives with such grace and humility you can’t help but strive to cultivate that in your own life.
When my brother John married Stacie I felt like I had found something in my life I had always felt like I was missing: a family member to talk ad nauseum about books! A fellow English teacher, Stacie and I bonded over our shared love of literature. Her deep thoughtfulness when it comes to books is parcel of who she is: an extremely thoughtful person. I remember when I was going through a tough time in college, and she sent me this wonderful card of support and flip flop pajama pants…a sweet gesture I’ve never forgotten, one that typifies her generosity and care for her loved ones.
Desiree, Kegan’s sister, is one of the sweetest people I know. She’s soft spoken and reserved, in many ways the opposite of her younger brother—but it’s those exact differences that I most value. Desiree is a great listener, and is always one to check-in and see how things are going for you, an aspect of her personality I probably don’t thank her enough for. We’ve grown very close over the years that I’ve been with Kegan, and I’m appreciative of that closeness. She knows Kegan in a way that few people do, and I'm also so grateful for her relationship with him.
I am so thankful that the men in my life have brought some pretty amazing women into my life. They’ve opened their homes to me, mothered all of my wonderful nieces and nephews, cared for our family and for me, cried and laughed along with me, and most of all become four very close, dear friends.