I have a long distance sister. My sister lives in another state and I miss her like crazy, but it does make getting together all the more poignant and enjoyable when it does happen. Sisterhood is undeniably a special bond, one that can’t be broken — regardless of how far apart you are or how often you get to see each other. Often life gets busy and whether they are across the street or across the other side of the world, getting together with your sister can get less frequent as we get older. However, there is an upside to living far away from each other. Having a long distance sister means that catching up is all the more significant.
Here are 10 sweet moments that long distance sisters can relate to:
1. Having a place to stay when you travel
When you live away from your sister, you know that any time you visit her specifically or happen to travel in her vicinity, you will definitely have a place to call home. Free lodging with family, especially a sister, means always having a home away from home. And if you forgot something or need a special pair of earrings to finish off an outfit, you can always raid your sister’s room, just like old times.
2. Exchanging all the presents at once
Having missed several special occasions by the time you get together means you get to exchange all your gifts with each other at once. Birthdays, graduations, religious holidays – any occasion that requires a gift is saved up and a good way to save on postage is to put all those presents aside and take them with you next time you visit. Then, you can open a bottle of wine and a giant box of chocolates and sit on the lounge room floor to unwrap all your goodies.
3. Meeting and reconnecting with nieces/nephews
If residing apart has meant that you aren’t able to be there to hold each others’ hands while in labor, visits can mean meeting new nieces and nephews for the first time or seeing how much they’ve grown and changed the next time you reconnect. Photos and videos can keep you updated, but being an aunty in the flesh without having to babysit weekly makes the relationship with the little critters all the more worthwhile.
4. Exploring each others’ home improvements
Getting to stay at each others’ house infrequently means you don’t see the mess of renovation and home decoration. When the time comes to visit you have both got the spare bedroom immaculate, like a bed and breakfast. Showing each other your homes can be the fun part of not living near one another.
5. Sharing a meal
As children, you probably sat at the dining table together a million times over a million meals. Breakfasts, lunches, dinners and you never even said two words to each other except maybe to fight over the last piece of garlic bread, but now meals take on a different meaning. Breaking bread with your sister at your favorite cafe or restaurant, or better still cooking a meal for her gives you both immeasurable pleasure and comfort. Open a bottle of good wine and break out the ice cream and coffee and you’re likely to be sitting at the dining table for half the night.
As kids it was probably the most uncool thing in the world to do to hug your sister. You don’t realize how little affectionate physical contact you have with your siblings whey you are children; the only time you touch is likely to be the rare occasions when you fall asleep on the lounge together or if you shove each other as you pass in the hallway. However, as adults there is nothing as comforting as that bear hug the minute you see each other at the air port or in the driveway. The older you get, the tighter and longer the hugs.
7. Making eye contact in real time
When you mostly communicate with your long distance sister via text message, email, or online chatting, you don’t make actual eye contact with her. Even if you’re looking at her through a computer screen, you’re probably just looking at the image of yourself talking or you’re doing other things while you talk. Eye contact is underrated. It’s these moments that are a stark reminder of the connection between you.
8. Waking up and going to bed in the same house again
How many mornings and evenings together did you take for granted as children? Living apart puts an end to bleary-eyed breakfasts in your pajamas and late nights watching movies together. They say, about many things, you never know when the last time will be. Catching up brings those morning and evening opportunities back. It’s just nice to be under the same roof again, knowing they are on the other side of the wall provides a sense of coziness lost long ago.
9. Reminiscing about old times
At some point it is inevitable that you will remember the past together. When you don’t see each other regularly, you lack having someone in your life with that shared experience of growing up together. You have known this person the longest in your life. Longer than your parents, partner, children, and your best friends. Having somebody to evoke the past with, who understands and remembers your memories, good and bad, helps you to make sense of who you are and where you come from. Nothing is as precious as going through old photo albums with the one person who was standing beside you.
10. Making plans for the future
The distance between you is an opportunity to look forward to something. It’s knowing that at some point you will see each other again and that will get you through being apart. Absence and distance definitely make the heart grow fonder. Petty disagreements and personality clashes, sibling rivalry and old resentments disappear because you cherish your relationship all the more.
In this day and age, people go their own way. The world is small. It isn’t unusual for families to live continents apart, but with the ease of travel and technology those relationships not only survive, but thrive. Having a long distance sister is a privilege and it’s the quality of time spent together that’s most important, not the quantity. Being far away from each other forces you to make those moments count.