My sister story begins with the darkest of emotions. Echoes of grief are all that’s left of what could’ve been and even now, thirty years later, their somber song lingers. I’ve never met her and yet, in so many ways, I know her better than I know myself. How can I not? She’s in my blood and in my dreams and in my daughter’s bittersweet name. Her presence exists on an intangible level, one I never see but always feel.
Savannah Lynn was delivered stillborn when my amazing, brave, resilient mama was only eight months along. I wasn’t here yet and neither were my brothers but I’m certain that, wherever we were, we felt and mourned the loss of our big sister. I mourn it still, aching for late night conversations, whispered secrets, and suppressed giggles under ruffled blankets.
Savannah Joy’s arrival twenty-eight years later marked the beginning of a new chapter in my sister story. When the doctors placed the soft bundle of petite features and wispy hair in my arms, the name “Savannah” took on a whole new meaning. Joy (hence, middle name) rushed over me, rainwater mercifully released from a long-dormant storm cloud.
Chapter three came one and a half years later.
From the moment I discovered I was pregnant with Molly, I longed for another girl. It was a desire that transcended my thoughts and emotions – an intuitive certainty that, should I be blessed with another daughter, somebody somewhere (perhaps even my own sister) had also wanted it and thus made it so. Because oh, how I adore plans bigger than myself.
Last night these two precious angels nearly killed each other trying to decide whose turn it was to read Everybody Poops (in their defense, that book is pretty fabulous). I chuckled as Molly yanked the book from Savannah’s hands, only to have it snatched from her own grasp seconds later. Wails of injustice followed, beautiful music exploding in all directions.
Sisters, I thought. I finally have my sisters.