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Felicity Huffman

What My Sisters Taught Me

I have six sisters and one brother. I am the youngest, and what a sweet spot that is. So growing up they were not only my friends and compatriots but also my mentors. My sister Betsey made sure I was signed up for school in the fall. My sister Jessie would take me shopping for back to school clothes. Grace taught me how to tie my shoes and do fractions (this was in different years you will be relieved to know). Isabel taught me that boys don’t like it when you cheat on them and that it is okay to swim with a tampon in. I could go on and on. They have held my hand through every heartbreak and cheered my every success. My sisters and my brother are some of the best things in my life.

As I get older (oh God) I not only embrace and cherish my sisters, but the sisterhood of women (forgive me, I do hate that phrase but can’t think of an alternative). So this section is to open up the discussion of what we all learn from each other. I would love to know what the women in your life have taught you, given you and helped you with or helped you through. Because, weekly I rely on my sisters’ (both literal and figurative) wisdom and get great comfort from their companionship.

Here is what I have learned and am working on lately: Having Faith. I get scared of the future easily and get overwhelmed by the terrible news I read and see every day. I get frightened for my children, my husband, my community and our country. I think it is safe to say that most of us want love, happiness, success and fulfillment; but I am learning that these are all inner processes which rest on faith.

This is what I try and remind myself of everyday:
- Faith is expectancy of good.
- The opposite of Faith is discouragement.
-The antidote to discouragement is Faith.

My sister, Jane, gave me this humorous story about discouragement. WARNING! The word God is used here, if that snags you and turns you off; insert any word that works for you.

The devil was having a yard sale and all the tools of his trade were for sale; envy, hatred, violence and revenge, not to mention war, hunger and pain. A visitor was looking at all the items for sale when he came to an old tool that was much worn and was more expensive than all the other tools combined. He said to the devil, “Why is this tool so expensive? It’s so worn and old.” “Ah,” said the devil, “with this tool I can pry open the mind of even the most loyal of God’s followers. This tool never fails.” The visitor turned over the tool in his hand. “What is it?” he asked. “It is discouragement,” said the devil.

What have your sisters (literal or figurative) taught you? I really want to know. Was there a particular conversation that really made a difference in your life? Or was there a woman who was a great role for you? What have women taught you that you use in your everyday life?

THE AUTHOR

Felicity Huffman is the youngest of eight children. By the time she came along her mother had run out of family names (there are 2 Jessie’s, 3 Grace’s, 2 Jane’s, 3 Moore’s, and the list continues), so she was called “Flicka”. The name “Felicity” was added as an afterthought because you can’t go around life with a nickname ...

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