Can you think back to a woman in your lifetime who found her way into your experience and impacted it in such a way that you cannot help but know your life would not be on its current course without her?
For me, that was my older sister, Christin. While we all know the terrorist acts of sisterhood while growing up, there are unspoken elements about that bond that are a part of the inspiration of my site. I will admit, my sister had earned the nickname Debo when we were younger (the bully from the movie “Friday”). I have found myself feeling lucky lately because I have recently been watching my sister from afar as she has flourished against all odds.
Growing up, there was a critical point when my sister made the decision that she would not leave me behind. You see, we had rough experiences and endured a bit more than most children should ever have to. I could paint a vivid picture for you of the traumas but what matters is that I had her there to guide me, to raise me when she hadn’t been raised herself, to show me strength, and to learn how to get made fun of!
My big sister did everything, from teaching me how to spell words to providing clothes and shoes for me. When she went away to college, life became very difficult. Selflessly, she returned before being able to reach her dreams in order to ensure that I wouldn’t end up living on the streets. She is always there to go to bat for me and to tell me when I am acting with nonsense.
She has worked extremely hard, surpassing her own heart, mind, and disappointments to raise her two sensational sons as a single mother. My nephews have autism, sensory disorders, oppositional defiance disorder, along with other struggles. Every day, Christin rises into the world and charges forward. She works endlessly to ensure that my nephews have all of the behavioral and medical support that they need. She has developed my nephews far beyond how doctors attempted to limit their lives and abilities. She maximizes all possible efforts to ensure that her children have a secure, safe life, full of opportunities. She does this, all while ensuring that they know how amazing they are and loved.
When I had my son, she got me on my feet as a mother and gave me the tools I needed, directing my course toward becoming the mom I am proud to be today. I have a depth of gratitude for all that she does to show me the ropes, and to break the cycles that our family has perpetuated.
She spends as much time as she can find to advocate, assist, and inform others who are or have loved ones on the autism spectrum. She is on her way to being the first in our family to obtain her degree with honors. If that all isn’t inspiration enough, she has recently lost 75 pounds, and is still counting. While, like any sister, she can be a cramp in the backside, I cannot say that I know many in this world who love as hard as my big sister!
For a very long time, Christin was born into a life that was intense and demanded greatness from her. She, with all the rights in the world to do so, carried around a lot of anger about it all. Within the last year, I finally get to see my sister beginning to open up and choose happiness. She has taken her life into a direction that she is creating and I swell with joy knowing that my sister is finally allowing herself to dream and create!
I am so proud of you, Sister, and I am so grateful that I do not have to know where my life would be if I didn’t have you. I love you.
We would love to hear about a special woman in your life who influenced you. If you don’t have that now, we can all be that for each other, here. Do you think that you are able to be such an impactful woman to another woman?