You may remember that I took a trip to Fort Knox, Kentucky a few months ago to visit my youngest sister, whose husband is deployed in Afghanistan. Last week I had the brief pleasure of catching up with my other two sisters who live in the Phoenix valley. I was on my way from Los Angeles to northeastern AZ, and I stopped in for an overnight stay with my darling sister, Hannah. I simply adore Hannah.
Hannah's home is filled with Christian rock and warm vibes. Her 6 year old, precocious and sober little boy, Ash, was welcoming to me and baby Conor. He immediately accepted me as family, and then after showing me the ropes around the house, asked if I wanted to "work with him" in his room. "What will we do?" I asked. "Set up lasers," he replied. We took all the toys that light up, and strategically arranged them for premium booby-trap effectiveness. And then we contorted our way out of there through the imaginary lasers Catherine Zeta-Jones style.
Bella, at 2 1/2 is just like her mama, with brown hair and eyes. What a sweetheart! She doted on Conor and shared her Care Bears with him. She had about a million excuses to keep getting out of bed after being tucked in. It may have been because she's 2 1/2, but I like to think that she just wanted another peek at her swell Aunt Jenna.
Hannah has started a respectable cake decorating business and has built it up quite nicely over the last few years. The girl is unbelievably talented, and though I already knew that, I was still bowled over by her cake portfolio. If anyone needs any kind of cake for anything, and you live in the Phoenix vicinity, call Hannah. You won't be disappointed.
The next morning, before I had to head up north, Amanda and her family came over for a brief visit. I hardly ever get to see this sister, my closest sister in age, as we always seem to miss each other when I'm in town. She's gorgeous and animated, and skinnier than me. She would do anything for anyone, if possible. When Hannah admired the Cinderella charm bracelet she was wearing, Amanda immediately took it off and insisted that it be given to Bella, who loves princesses. I'd bet a million dollars that Bella is still wearing it. Amanda hasn't always had it easy in life, especially since my parents divorced when she was a teenager, but I see her trying hard over in her corner, and she actually inspires me to be more honest with my own life. She had the courage to put herself through school to become a massage therapist recently, and I am so proud of her for that accomplishment.
I was there with her in the hospital when her daughter Mikayla was born. Now that little girl is a big-eyed beauty of eight, and bears striking resemblance to her mother. I wish we all lived in closer proximity to each other so our kids could really know each other. Here we grew up in this huge family, and we each seem to head for the hills as we come of age, hardly looking back. The cousins played together, and we ate pizza.
I feel lucky to have three sisters. I have varying degrees of compatibility with each of them, but when it comes down to it, I'd walk through fire for any of them. We came from the same two people, we lived the same crazy life, and the blood that runs through our veins has been thick enough to withstand many a storm. Women are complicated creatures, and sometimes it takes a bond like sisterhood to keep us on the same team. I pity the sisterless woman.