What Makes a Sister? (Our "Conversation" Project)
Sisters are technically born of the same parents. I grew up the middle child between two boys. I always wanted a sister but it wasn’t until my grown up years that I was blessed with several women in my life who have become my sisters; sisters in my heart. I believe that our friends become the family that we choose.
About five years ago I met Amee when she entered my classroom with her nearly three year old son. It didn’t take too long for me to realize that Amee and I could be good friends. I had been warned that becoming friends with the parents of my students could be tricky, so I struggled to keep our relationship more professional. As the school year came to a close Amee came to me and said “Now we can be real friends!” I was so excited and over the next several years our relationship evolved.
Amee and I decided to do an experiment and interview one another for Lifetime Moms based on the intimate conversations between celebrities and host Amanda de Cadenet on the Lifetime series "The Conversation". I thought that it would be an easy task since we’ve known each other for so long and have been so close. But as we sat down to have our "conversation" I realized how nervous I had become. Was it because I was being interviewed or was it that I was afraid of the questions that were about to be asked of me? After all I will share anything with Amee, but knowing that my words were going to be transcribed and published for the world to see made me a bit uneasy. Do I answer honestly and completely or do I keep my guard up and answer cautiously?
Amee started the interview by asking me what was the craziest thing I had ever done? I could not answer that. I had never allowed myself the freedom to be crazy; I always followed the rules. When she revealed to me that she had jumped off of a bridge I was a bit jealous, especially when she admitted that she was scared of heights but she did it anyway. Oh, to be free enough with yourself to let go and jump would be so wonderful. I have always admired Amee for her strong will and the way she stays in charge.
When she shared with me that she was the oldest and that her parents and divorced when she was young, I was surprised. Quite often children of divorced parents struggle to find long lasting relationships because they have not had that example at home. For Amee, she has been blessed with a great husband who adores her completely. (Apparently that was a pre-requisite when she met him; he had to adore her or it wouldn’t work.) Rounding out her family with three children and working to make life the way she wants it is one of the things I admire about her. Something within her made her the strong one; the fixer. Determined to make her own way, Amee has always been the one that others look to for assistance or a shoulder to lean on; me included.
When she asked me if I blame my family for turning me into the responsible one I nearly froze. I have always been the one to follow the rules and thought that I was supposed to take on their beliefs. Lately I have discovered that their views and opinions are really not my own and I’ve had to unlearn a few things to get to know my real self. Admitting that to my friend was easy; admitting it to the world was tough. Amee, however, doesn’t blame; she takes charge and she makes things happen.
As our conversation continued I was asked a question that Amanda de Cadenet frequently asks celebrities during her interviews. If I could tell my 14 year old self something what would it be? Taking time to answer carefully I shared that I would not be in such a rush to grow up and to definitely be true to myself. Amee on the other hand was quick to answer stating that she would tell her younger self not to let another person define her. And that more often than not the popular girls find out quickly that popularity only goes so far and when it fades and reality takes over life is not as “rosy” as it appears.
As our conversation came to a close, we had one more question to answer. What would your husband say are your greatest attributes? Of course we all want to say that our husbands think we are beautiful and sexy and the greatest woman on the planet and while to them that may be true, I believe my husband would go a bit deeper stating that I have a big heart and my love for people is enormous. For Amee she has already established that her husband adores her. He cherishes her for who she is and all that she does. Of course, she is a beautiful woman inside and out; her compassion for others only enhances the beauty that lies within her.
As I sat and watched her ease in answering the questions and encouraging me to open up and be real, I realized that I have to stop being afraid of what others think of me and begin to be just me. After all, Amee has never seen me as anyone other than myself; she doesn’t judge. As for my final thoughts on our time together and what I have taken away from our conversation I would have to say that while I have always been thankful that we were friends, but I now know why we are. We need each other for various reasons, of course, but we do. Just like sisters in the deepest sense of the word, I believe that we fell into one another’s lives because our hearts simply needed to be. Sisters.
"The Conversation" airs Thursdays at 11p/10c on Lifetime.