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Jewish Journal

Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend

by Ilana Angel

October 28, 2013 | 8:05 am

I love my older sister very much and felt the need to write about her today. I mention her often here, but do not think I have ever dedicated an entire blog to her.  It is time.  This weekend my sister was gracious and kind in a way that I would like to think I would also be.  She went above and beyond what was required or expected, and in showing kindness to someone who did not deserve it, touched my heart.

My sister is 18 months older than me. We don’t look anything alike, but you would be hard pressed to tell us apart on the phone because we sound exactly the same. I have our father’s fair English complexion, and she is olive skinned like our Israeli mother. She is a little shorter than me, a littler thinner than me, and a whole lot wiser than me.  She is truly a lovely girl and we speak several times a day.

We were very close growing up and shared many friends. Other than the time I caught her kissing my high school crush Gordon in the driveway of our house, we didn’t have any fights outside of regular sisterly stuff. She is brave and strong, although she would never use those words to describe herself.  I wish she could see herself as I do because then she would know how really wonderful and beautiful she is.

When my father was dying she sat with him and wrote letters to me and our siblings for him so he could tell us how much he loved us. When I called every 20 minutes to see how he was, yelling at her to not let him die until I got home, she answered every call and told me he would wait. My father died the morning of my flight to Canada and she wove a story that eased my pain.

I love and respect my gentle and kind sister.  She is a great mom, loving daughter, and dependable friend.  She has two teenage children who are fun and smart. She is a talented hairdresser and insanely funny.  She has a giving and forgiving heart and this weekend when someone who caused her unimaginable pain died, she provided dignity to an enemy.

My sister would never refer to her as an enemy, but I would. My loyalty is to my sister not only because she is family, but because she has earned it.  Life can be complicated but in the end decency is required. The Coach reminded me not everyone deserves kindness, but everyone needs it, and those who are unkind need it the most.  My sister provided true kindness and she will be rewarded in countless ways.

It has been a long time since I sat across from my sister. When I see her I will hug her, kiss her, and hold her close.  I will think of my father holding her hand as he passed and as I hold the same hand I will feel him deep in my heart. Life is fragile and when given a chance to be decent we must do it because it is a blessing to provide comfort to someone who needs it.  My sister is my hero and inspires me to keep the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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