Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I’ve never had a sister. Occasionally, I wonder what having a sister means—what benefits and blessing she could offer or what inconveniences and personal frustration her similar DNA might bring. They say a sister is a forever friend, the chocolate chips in a life of cookies and the bright blue sky after rain. So what happens to those who don’t have one? I like chocolate chips and blue sky, am I destined to a life of snickerdoodles and Seattle-like cloud cover? As it turns out, I’m not. I have a new sister: my new un-biological sister Marija—an exchange student who joined our family last Fall. Marija arrived from Montenegro, a country of geographical mystery whose location many fake to know. They ask Marija where she’s from, she replies Montenegro, and they smile and nod their head as if they’ve been to the Balkan country. Alas their feigned eyes and spurious smile reveal Montenegro might as well be a fictitious planet or a mystical underwater city.
When Marija arrived she became instant family and my friends wrinkled their eyebrows when I claimed ‘I’m going to see my sister’; apparently you can’t advertise the presence of a sister after promoting the existence of only one younger brother. But Marija is my newfound sister and best friend and together we’ve laughed and cried and taught each other various tidbits of wisdom; we’ve fought over the bathroom and guilted each other into going to the gym; she wears my clothes and I borrow her shoes and in the end we’re just as much sisters as any other biologically related kin.
I don’t understand why our connection happened so quickly or remains so strong; maybe we both have the right amount of brain and just enough sass to understand each other. Or maybe her strength rubs off to cover my own fears and my patience calms her ever passionate fervor. My brain has formulated various theories and explanations for our new found sisterhood, and when I grow weary of looking for possible answers I remember an axiom from Marija: When you start thinking too much, it’s time to stop thinking.’ Because I suppose in the end it really doesn’t matter—sisters are sisters.


  1. I love you two! You are both amazing and beautiful girls!

  2. Juel, you really are an amazing person, and wow, that little tid bit you wrote that was amazing!!!! I would expect less then that from someone that was writing for money. I'm impresed both with your realtionship Marija and with words. well done.

  3. The sister is very proud. MOre than proud. Love you :)