Hey, Soul Sisters
by Christy Sillman
“True friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies” – Aristotle.
When Lauren and I met, we were hesitant of each other. I mean, who really wants their parents to pick out their friends? They forced us to walk to school together. But I guess when you’re soul sisters, the universe will find a way to bring you together.
Lauren and I have a friendship that I could probably write an entire book about, but I’lll attempt to sum up our friendship with my favorite story of us.
One summer, while on a hike with the church camp we attended every summer, the altitude started to limit my ability to conceal my heart condition. I was very short of breath, and was quickly becoming that annoying “special” person who held the entire group up.
I’ve always hated when my heart condition makes me feel different from my peers. Before the tears fell off my cheeks, Lauren was hoisting me on to her back. I laughed at her and said, “You can’t carry me up a mountain!” She yelled back “watch me!”
Lauren climbed the entire hike with my arms wrapped around my neck. She was my savior that day, and has been for the past 25 years. She is Noah’s godmother, and my first soul sister.
Sarah and I were also “set up,” not by our parents but by our geometry teacher. I can’t even remember why, but our teacher felt we should sit together and work on all projects for the entire course throughout our junior year of high school. No other students were paired together this way.
Sarah and I had a rocky friendship in the beginning. Lots of drama, but what else would you expect from a bunch of high school girls? Sarah was a young woman with a lot of pain, and she was just beginning to work through the damage when we met. A lot of people destroy themselves before they build themselves back up, and I was there for a lot of her self-destruction.
Lauren and Sarah became friends as well (of course I introduced them), and the three of us were a bunch of hooligans who ruled the summer of 1997 in Davis, California. After high school, Lauren went off to college, Sarah fell for the wrong boy, and I recovered from open heart surgery.
With every friendship, there are ebbs and flows. The mark of a true friendship is that despite the ebbs you can automatically start where you last left off. It still amazes me how well the three of us accomplish this stability.
My relationship with Sarah blossomed after I learned to forgive some of her misguided actions, and she learned to give her amazing loyalty to the right people. Sarah held me as I sobbed the night my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer, and held my husband Steve when I was rushed to the operating room to deliver our son Noah.
Over the past 15 years Lauren, Sarah and I have grown into beautifully complicated women, who despite distance, life situations or personal struggles, always manage to find each other in our darkest hours.
Both women stood beside me the day of my wedding and took night shifts the first week after Noah was born. Both, without hesitation, offered to be our gestational surrogate the day we found out I shouldn’t get pregnant again.
When Sarah was rushed to the emergency room by ambulance recently, it only took me two minutes before I jumped in the car to be with her. She told me I could go home to take care of my family, but I didn’t want to be anywhere else in the world at that moment. She is my family.
Lauren has faced some major emotional obstacles in the past few years and it physically pains me to see her hurt so much. What I wouldn’t give to take it all away.
I would do ANYTHING for these women. I treasure every moment I get with them. They are part of who I am — the threads in my soul quilt.
Women need girlfriends. The relationship between girlfriends is something sacred. One must treat the relationship with the up most respect. Two women can either become an unstoppable force of unity or a windstorm of anger and resentment. Women can be nasty to each other, and that fact saddens me.
I’m very fortunate to have multiple close girlfriends, even beyond Lauren and Sarah, who have held me up and tended to my wounds — both physically and emotionally. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by many beautiful goddesses.
Who knew one person could have so many soul mates?