By Kristin Bonham
I didn’t have a sister growing up but I met mine when she walked into my hospital room after I gave birth to my son 24 years ago. I was 24 years old and that was a defining moment in my life. Like when you need something but you don’t know what? My need was answered that day before I even knew the depth of it.
Lynn and I were not related but we considered each other sisters. We were 10 years minus 1 day apart and I’m not sure what made her pick me but I am forever thankful she did. This October marks the 10-year anniversary of her death which has caused me to reflect more on our relationship and how much she influenced me.
Lynn taught me the importance of having other women in my corner. She was in my corner, even when she was smacking me upside the head. She helped me learn how to mother my children and made me slow down and enjoy the moments. She invited me to go look for my new house in my new town two hours away when I wasn’t motivated to do anything. We did Bible studies together, picked strawberries, took our kids to every out of the way field trip in Florida, redecorated rooms and played scrabble in many laundry mats across the country.
Her friendship shaped me. She helped me discover my gifts and talents and didn’t let our differences come between us. Well, maybe that one time we got in a fight in the middle of Washington D.C! She was not perfect but there was a rhythm to our relationship that was noticeably different and full of grace.
When she died, our kids were in the teen/college years. Now they are in the wedding/baby years. I remember panicking that she would miss the weddings and the babies and that was not ok. She is missing a lot of moments that matter but I have great comfort that she is not missing any moments that are eternal. She is one of those people who showed me the things of God I needed so desperately and pursued them beautifully.
Lynn would have become a grandmother this year. Her daughter Chloe and I spent a Sunday morning together a few weeks ago and I got to cuddle baby Emery Amelia. It was a sweet gift and very emotional visit. We laughed and cried and rehearsed that terrible day ten years ago. In the end we decided that we will be ok. While no one can ever replace her in our lives, we have each other and more who we learn from and pour into. Our lives and other relationships are richer for having known her.
I am thankful for the women in my life that I can share the victories and challenges with. The ones who will laugh and cry with me and most of all, tell me the hard truth in love when I need it. Who are those women in your life?
“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy,… And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:3-4,6