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Two Black girls ages 4 and 18 months

Comfort in the Arms of a Sister

Americans are obsessed with “national days.”

These are the days of the year when we’re called to commemorate and celebrate the interests of various segments of society. There are so many of these national days that every day of the year includes multiple, unrelated topics of recognition. These topics and interests range from the profound to the downright wacky.

In the month of July, we will have highlighted 174 causes in just 31 days of the month. We’ve recognized National Chronic Disease Day, National Hire a Veteran Day, and National Disability Independence Day. We also “celebrated” National Tape Measure Day, National Dive Bar Day, and National Dimples Day.

The month of August won’t be much different in terms of volume and quirkiness, but there is at least one day of significance to My Cup of Tea. The first Sunday of August - August 6th - is National Sisters Day.

Coincidentally, National Sisters Day was founded in 1996 by sisters and Memphians, Tricia Eleogram and Stacey Lowery. The biological sisters concocted the idea on a trip to Florida and later co-authored a book about sisterhood. The purpose of the day, according to the founders, is to celebrate the “spirit of sisterhood.”

By now, you know that we acclaim the sisterhood at My Cup of Tea. Among the employees, none are biological sisters. To our knowledge, there is no biological relationship between any of our volunteers and the My Cup of Tea ladies. And yet, there is a palpable connection between these individuals who frequent The House.

President Obama famously said,

“Any fool can have a child. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.”

This sentiment that being a father is about more than DNA holds true when we think about sisters. Sisters may be born into the same family and genetically connected, but being a sister is about the lasting bonds between two women or a group of women. It is about both being present for all of life’s twists and turns and putting in the “work” to nurture and grow the relationship into something irreplaceable.

Sisters are the women in your life with the ability to feel what you feel, even if they’ve never experienced it. They laugh when you laugh and cry when you cry. They say the things you need to hear, but don’t want to hear. Sisters defend you in public, then set you straight when no one’s watching. Sisters accept you for who you are and tell you that you’re enough. From disappointments to life’s tragedies, sisters grieve with you and help you recover. Author Alice Walker may have said it best,

“Is solace anywhere more comforting than that in the arms of a sister?”

Over the last 10 years, the My Cup of Tea sisters have shed a lot of tears together – some the profoundly sad kind and others from laughing too hard. We’ve had “Come to Jesus” conversations, literally and figuratively to keep us on the narrow path. We have accepted each other as we are and always try to affirm that each of us is enough. We have been present and put in the work and have lasting bonds between us.

But the unbreakable bond we share, now and forever, is that we are sisters in Christ. Despite hard times, disagreements, being apart, or even death, nothing can “separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:39)

Happy National Sisters Day! Tell her you love her. Pray for her, and continue to pray for our sisters  at The House in Orange Mound.