Today we celebrate the Declaration of Independence. In 1776, Thomas Jefferson, wrote a now famous document boldly declaring that it was a self-evident truth that all men are created equal. This was an inspired statement. All of us on this earth are children of our Heavenly Father. We are all equally loved by Him and equally watched over. We all have equal rights to choose our beliefs and how we will react to the circumstances we face. We all have equal opportunity to seek Him out and find Him and feel Him in our lives. We are all brothers and sisters.
Brothers and Sisters--I have three brothers and one sister. I LOVE my brothers. But today I want to focus on my sisters. Growing up, I lived across the street from a family of 7 girls. I always wished I had more sisters in my life. I idolized my older sister but with a five year age gap, we did not get along very well growing up and she was off to college when I was in middle school. I wanted more sisters.
This experience has given me a greater appreciation, a greater and renewed love, and deep soul linking bond with my one sister Lesli. She has been a rock of literal strength for me through this. I was pretty much a puddle on the ground at the hospital that first day. I think the whole hospital could hear my grief. My sister dropped everything (which was a night away with her husband at the Ritz) and came to me as soon as she heard. She arrived that night and walked into the consolation room where I was sitting with my head buried in my hands.
I don't really understand the physics of what happened next. She stood in front of me and put her hands on my shoulders. She was bent over like I was and we both had our heads down. As she did this, a power flowed through my body, a strength. It was a physical sensation. It was as if her strength of being came into me. My sister is a very strong woman. I have never been so grateful for that attribute of her as I was at that moment. There was no judgement or mental analyzing. No this was the strength of a sister's Love. And it was powerful beyond description.
My sister Lesli and I in my backyard a few days after Camille died.
I look at my family now thinking of those days wishing I had more sisters, and feel so blessed. When I got married I gained 6 new sisters. Jon has four sisters and four brothers. Two of his brothers are married. The beauty of this is that I love, yes I mean love, all of these women. They are beautiful, talented women. I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful sisters in the Waite family. How convenient that they have such an incredible, handsome, worthy, and humorous brother for me to love and marry.
The Waite Family at Camille's grave.
Shortly after Jon and I got married, 3 of my other siblings got married. Then last October my youngest brother got married too, completing our generation's family circle. This gives me three more sister in laws on my side of the family. Again the beauty in this is that my brother's all made awesome choices in selecting their mates. All three of my sister in laws are about 3 years younger than me. I am close to each of them. They are some of my best friends and they are my sisters.
The Harris Family at Camille's Graveside.
But I have been blessed with more sisters in my family than just this. Like I said, we are all brothers and sisters. We are all created equal. I have four daughters. I am their mother but they are also my sisters. I have been very aware of this fact from the moment I arrived at the hospital. I knew Camille was there but she was not in that little baby body on the bed. She was there as a spirit and her spirit was not a baby. I felt her as a fully mature adult woman. I felt her as my sister. I felt her as my friend. I felt her as a pure, clean, glorious example of what I want to become.
I look forward to the day when I can be with her again as a sister, a daughter, a friend, an equal.
I love you Camille!