Right now I am sister-sick.

These days I have a dull thump in my chest, which I try to ignore as best as I can.  I miss my sister so much it physically hurts.   She is the one person who knows me better than anyone else and is always there for me no matter what decisions I make – good or bad.  And believe me there have been some whoppers!

I miss chatting into the wee hours with her, I miss having a cup of tea and talking endless drivel with her.   Worst of all I miss giggling with her until my tummy hurts.

Sisterly love

Image courtesy of Mrinkk @ Stock.xchng

We were pregnant at the same time, but were living so far apart that we missed enjoying it together.  Knowing we were going through exactly the same things at similar times made us feel closer though.  In some respects we are so alike we could be twins – we often find that we are reading the same book or  buying the same perfume or products without having previously discussed it.

This sadness always worsens around now.  Somehow the knowledge that my favourite time of year is just around the corner creates, along with excitement, a huge hole in my heart.

I have not spent Christmas with any of my close family for over eight years now.  And although I am very lucky in that I get to spend most Christmases in a snowy landscape in northern Sweden with my partner’s amazing family,  who have always made me feel completely at home, I still feel my lips quivering and tears brimming  when calling my Mom or my sister on Christmas morning.

Right now I have not seen either of them for a year.  We are split over three different continents – Africa, Europe and America.  Arranging to get together is neither cheap nor uncomplicated.

When I first moved overseas it seemed a lot easier and I would sometimes only see them every second year, but since my sister and I have both had little ones in the past two years it has got so much harder.  I see photos of my little niece growing up and I know that I am missing so much of her life.  She will not recognize me when we meet again and I will not have any real part in her growing up.

The same goes for my little boy.  It makes my heart so heavy to know that my sister and my Mom do not know him.  They don’t get to see his funny dance moves or hear him singing ‘It’s raining, it’s pouring’ to himself.  But this is the huge downside to living life as an expat, although it has many rewards. Thank goodness we live in a world where instant communication via Skype and email is available! I have no idea how early pioneers managed!

So all I want for Christmas this year is a big hug from my sister or at least a set holiday date so that we know when we will be seeing each other again!  Luckily I am getting a really SPECIAL treat this Christmas time, my Mom will be joining us on our trip to Sweden this Christmas!  A gift I can hardly wait to receive!

Two of my favourite sisterhood quotes:

Sisters are different flowers from the same garden.

– Author Unknown

A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.

– Isadora James


Do you live far away from your family?  How do you overcome the barriers of being so far apart?