Anyone who knows me knows that I am a girls’ girl and I firmly believe in the strength of women and the beauty that is women’s friendships. This is hardly surprising as some of the best lessons in life I learnt from my four older sisters – who are family and as I have gotten older, my friends.
From my first sister, I have learnt about kindness and generosity – genuinely giving things from the bottom of your heart and not expecting anything in return. Maybe its because she is the first born and long accustomed to having to share with the babies, but she is the kind of person who would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. From her I have also learnt the importance of tithing and giving that 10% of your income to God – this from the time when she gave me pocket money to now when I earn a salary. She is also very funny and never once treated me as a baby. My best memory of her was when she left for University, at an institution four and a half hours from Nairobi and she would write letters home to me telling me about school. Obviously part of it was to me, but some parts I had to relay the information to my parents. But what stood out was she wrote to me not as the 7 – 11 year old I was at the time, but as an old enough sister.
From my second sister, I have learnt the soft professional skills – my CV and cover letter are modelled along hers, she has sent me all sorts of articles on how to conduct myself at the office, how to behave at interviews, how to speak to my boss and make certain requests, verbally and via email. I have also learnt how to laugh and just savour the moments with her being able to listen and laugh at anything I tell her, often making the story more than the humorous event. She is truly my biggest champion with my two best memories of her being the day an older girl bullied me and she matched out a friends house (having heard her small sister cry) and slapped her across the cheek. SCORE! Also in Primary school, she used to sign my school diary and check my homework on behalf of my parents and a particular teacher did not like this and called her stupid just as I was stupid – I rushed home and reported this and first thing Monday morning, she was at school coming to do battle with him. My best moment was watching him slink back to class after being chastened in her presence. DOUBLE SCORE!!!
My third sister and I can laugh. Growing up, we spent so many hours just cracking up and laughing and annoying the other three who often did not get it. We have the same sense of humour and often, just need to say it once when the other would double up in laughter with tears rolling down and sides hurting. I owe the direction that my post-graduate studies took entirely to her, she got me to send in my application in time, she went to the school, followed up with them continuously until I finally got admitted. For two years, she stayed on at work until 7/ half 8 in the evening to pick me up as I did not drive at the time. On a lighter note, she also taught me how to make rice and we all know much how I love the stuff. She also greatly inspired a lot of my musical and reading interests with us jointly reading and discussing so many books over the years.
The sister whom I follow has an uncanny sixth sense – she can read someone and however long it takes, her initial instincts will be proven right. And so I tend to depend on that at times, I can go in and get to know the person but also allow for the fact that she will be right about them eventually. She is also entirely protective and of all my sisters, she definitely makes me most feel like the baby of the family. She also taught me how to drive and through her son, has shown me what it is like to bring up a child and how it is to have someone to be responsible over.
Do you also have sisters? What have you taught them or what have they learnt from you?