Never Say Your Friend Card is Full

I never grew up with sisters. I found my sisters throughout my journey of life in the most unusual ways. In my childhood, forging friendships and finding the sisterhood was a method for my survival in a dysfunctional household. I became the master at connecting with all types of friends. As I grew up I began to understand the strength and resolve it takes to actually BE a sister to someone else. It takes courage to open your heart and hold presence for another. It takes commitment and loyalty with an unshakeable resolve to be truthful and forgive.  I honor all of my sisters with a deep love, faith, trust and conviction each day of my life. They are part of my foundation for truth and authenticity.

Do you know what a true “sister” means to you? I must say I have learned from Michelle. At 45 years of age, I understand the meaning of true sisterhood with her. She has been my dearest friend for over 25 years, and will remain so for the rest of my life. I am in awe that this beautifully powerful woman holds our friendship in as much high regard as I do. We have lived across the country from each other for the past 17 years and yet I feel her presence, love and SOMETIMES – patience with me through each day of my life. I could write forever about her positive qualities (our husbands always roll their eyes at us when we start spouting our love for one another!) So lets start with some background on my “BFF” (as my little girl inside me would call her).

mic and meI first saw Michelle at the beginning of my college career (1986) – briefly at orientation. She was with her roommate and closest friend and I thought to myself, “Those girls look like people I would like to get to know. They look so content.” Little did I know that it would take 5 years to meet up with Michelle again. We both went about our college years participating in different activities. I would see her on campus and still remember that first day of orientation. After graduation, I moved to India for several months and when I returned, an old friend invited me to a get-together for his birthday – who was there? Michelle! We talked for a long time that evening, and it was like catching up with a long lost friend, but I felt awkward about asking her for her phone number to connect. So on we went. Then, about a month later, I was looking in the newspaper for places to live in the greater Raleigh area, and I came across an ad that said, “Great hardwoods and must love dogs!” I called and, of course, it was Michelle! Both of her roommates were moving, she was engaged to be married and needed two roommates for a short time period.

After I moved in, we instantly connected. It was like we were catching up for all the time we had lost in our lives together. She asked me to be in her wedding and on we went as dear, dear friends. Unfortunately, I moved several times – Michelle is still in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. We have been through thick and thin together. Death, illness, divorce, marriage, raising kids, friendship challenges, you name it. Like Oprah calls Gayle her “go to girl”, Michelle is mine and will be forever.

I have tears in my eyes as I write this and my heart is full thinking of all of the work my dear friend, my “sister” in the best, best sense of the word has poured into as the founder of  Anna’s Angels Foundation. She tirelessly mobilizes her local community to put on annual events including a 10 mile run, a beautiful Gala and Auction and a tennis tournament.

I honor all women who have found their sisters, I honor the universe for sending me mine and I eagerly await ALL my new sisters that I will encounter and love through this great journey of life.

Kelly McNelis

About the Author | Kelly McNelis

  Kelly McNelis is the founder of Women For One, a global community that empowers women to embrace their voices and make life happen, on their own terms. Over 700 Truthtellers, as Kelly calls them, have answered her call to action: Make life happen by sharing your messy brilliance. Their stories range from the devastating to the delightful, and everything in between. With over 20 years of experience as a nonprofit and small-business consultant, Kelly empowers generations of women around the world to build the relationships, community, and confidence they need to achieve their wildest dreams. She travels the world as a speaker, teacher, and facilitator of workshops, helping others tap into lives powered by truth. Kelly's dedication to truthtelling helps women and men share their powerful stories with the world. She is a bestselling author whose first book, Your Messy Brilliance: 7 Tools for the Perfectly Imperfect Woman, was released in Fall 2017 by Enrealment Press. She finds daily inspiration in spending time with her husband and children in her home outside of Seattle. 

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2 comments to "Never Say Your Friend Card is Full"

  • Jackie McDaniels

    The women who have become my tribe, my sisterhood have changed and supported my life for nearly forty years. Thank your for your words on the importance and necessity of our sisters, related or not.

  • Love this so much. I, too, am grateful beyond words for the women in my life … what a gift sisterhood is!!