My Little Sister

Yesterday  when we were out driving in the country I ate something that made me ill. Very ill actually.  By lunchtime I was heaving and by the end of it even a small sip of water came straight back up.  But it didn’t last long – about 18 hours I suppose. A lot of weight in fluids has been lost and I feel empty but certainly not ready for food again, which is fine as we are travelling again today.

But now the sun has risen again (though this is an image of the sunset from the day before yesterday) and I came out to the couch where my computer was  to think of what to tell you that was of any significance other than illness. Which I find a tedious discussion at the best of

And here is a Letter FROM Our Little Sister. Waiting in my inbox. Gabrielle has asked that I send it to you. So here it is in its entirety.   This is why we are who we are.

Hi c,

(I wrote you and the Farmy Fellowship this. I was hoping that you could possibly post it on your blog, so that I could thank them).

I sit here on the end of my bed in New Zealand overlooking a  dark country valley.  I am watching the slightest hint of light  in the distance indicating  that dawn is coming. The birds are just waking with a few testing tweets,  the cattle are starting to shuffle the occasional moo can be heard and my cat is watching with one eye slightly open. There is a heavy pregnant pause, we are waiting, waiting for light, waiting for understanding, waiting for  something, I am waiting to cool down…..

Good morning, I am Gabrielle, I am the little sister that many of you focused your words towards as you shared your experience of menopause. I received the book  from Celi’s hand a few days ago and have already both laughed and cried, and many many times thought ‘oh my gosh, that’s me’.

The book ‘Letters for my Little Sister’  sits quietly beside my bed, she to is waiting, waiting to be opened again, waiting to educate and support me, waiting to comfort me when I feel lost, waiting for me.

It is getting lighter outside now, there are hues of grey, purple and red as the dawn is quietly, carefully edging back the black cloak of the night. I can just make out the hills, the silhouettes of trees, I am starting to see into the distant shadows.
It is in the quiet that I can almost hear the whispers from the book now, the whispers from you, the Authors. The whispers that weave their way though the letters, escaping from the gently held words on her pages ‘I can give you solace’ ‘I can give you hope’ ‘I can give you a beginning’ ‘I understand’. These are whispers born from many hours of your combined experience and understanding of menopause.  It is like the lightening sky outside that these whispers, your words, and Celi’s words, are edging back my own cloak of darkness, my cloak that was created in  isolation,  by the need to seek understanding from a clinically impersonal website, the cloak created in confusion and in sadness.

The Sun is almost up now, the birds are chirping noisily, dogs are barking and the new day has come with its colourful promises.
My  thoughts have turned to my friends, friends that I know would benefit with the understanding given from reading your letters. I will give them a book to read, but not this particular copy, not this one, this one is my treasure.

It is through this particular tear stained copy that you and my sister Celi have given me the one thing that I have yearned for, but not received, in over 30 years….a Mothers Hug.




There now.  This was what this book was all about.  We did it  – you and I.

And now I will gently pack my travelling bag and help clean this beach house. Then we will pile into a car again and go to another beach house about four hours drive from here across to the West Coast. Though I am not sure exactly how far. This beach is somewhere I have never been  to though my daughter and her partner have –  so  they are taking me up there as a treat. pictures-018

I am taking it very slowly.

Much love


45 Comments on “My Little Sister

  1. What is travel without a bit of wooziness? Hope much better now. Friends and family around helps.
    Please tell your little sister how wonderful her letter is – how appreciated. It’s nice when the conversation comes from both sides. She now seems real – and now little sister to all of us. (It’s a crowd. Sorry. We do play nicely though. Don’t worry about cleaning up the place – we’ll bring food! For thought, at least)
    HUGS to all

  2. Your sister writes just like you do, Celi! And how wonderful to hear from her that we accomplished what you set out to do! Enjoy your wonderful remaining time. Hope you feel much better very soon!!

  3. Gabrielle’s letter completes the circle, as have all the responses via reviews, blog posts and FB comments but her words “a mother’s hug” describe it best of all 🙂
    Glad you feel better, I had same a couple of weeks ago – not food but nasty novovirus – not good any time but worse while you are on precious holidays. The next leg of which though, sounds wonderful.

  4. I thought that also, that she writes like you. I didn’t participate in the letters, but your sister’s appreciation brought tears to my eyes. What a lovely thing coming up with that book was.

  5. Oh poor dear friend, I am so sorry that you feel so ill. The letter from your little sister is remarkable as you both have an insight into people and nature. I am so happy to be partly belonged to such a lovely family. Get well soon so that you can really enjoy the rest of your vacation

  6. It’s obvious Gabrielle is your sister, she’s writes as eloquent as you Celi.
    Food poisoning is the worst, glad you feel better.
    Gosh New Zealand is lovely.
    Have fun

  7. Oooh, two talented writers in one family … and if it isn’t one making me tearful it is the other! 🙂 Sorry to hear you aren’t feeling well Celi, keep the fluids up and get better soon. Enjoy your precious days with your family. Laura

  8. Traveling is always such a jolt to our digestive system when we are so careful about what we put in it at home. I’m glad it didn’t last too long, although I’m guessing 18 hours felt VERY long to you! What a lovely thank you letter from your sister. Oh, that last line really got me!! xo ~ April

  9. As EllaDee says, the circle is complete and having the letter from Gabrielle, makes the whole effort worthwhile. Sending mother hugs to one and all.

  10. What a beautiful letter from your sister… the sentiment was lovely. I love philosophermouseofthehedge’s comment, “What is travel without a bit of wooziness?” Indeed! Just take it all as it comes, and rest as you can. I hope you are feeling much improved today so that tomorrow will be a fun adventure. 🙂

  11. EllaDee said it well. I too had the nasty virus about two months ago, as did my Mum and daughter. It is working its way around the world. Lovely letter, much appreciated. You have elevated blog sharing to new heights with your efforts. Safe travels.

  12. Lovely post from your sister. Hope you can enjoy your next stop HUGS

  13. How lovely that your sister made her presence known, and officially joined the fellowship. Much love to you both. Rehydrate slowly, c, very slowly. xx

  14. Take it gently, Miss C. I’m glad you’re among family who will take care of you, instead of alone and having to cope miserably. Lots of sips along the way today, until all that lost fluid is back inside. Give Our Little Sister a metaphorical hug from all of us, and have a safe and comfortable trip today.

  15. C. What a beautiful letter from your little sister, Gabrielle…she is most definitely her sister’s sister…does that make sense? And yes, her last line brought tears to my eyes as well…tears of sadness, as I am slowly losing my mother and tears of joy that Gabrielle was able to feel a mother’s hug, through that book…amazing…

  16. I agree with all the above, your sister writes so well, you are from a very talented family. Thats awful feeling so unwell while traveling, hope you feel better now, lots of fluids x

  17. Beautiful – the same voice, similar notes and tones but distinct in its own special way….lovely. Sending you a big healing hug miss c, what a shame to be ill on your holiday 😦

  18. Gabrielle’s letter brought tears to my eyes. Both of you have a way with words, beautiful and touching. I loved reading all the comments. Getting sick on a trip sucks 😁I hope you feel better soon.

  19. Here I go again. Two sisters have me shedding tears over the computer. Tears of emotion – which are the very best kind.

  20. Omg. Is there anything worse than the heaves?.No! No! A thousand times NO! It is the pits. At least with pain you can take something for a little relief–my cat and I are both on amoxicillin for our concomitant surgeries, but nausea and vomiting? Off the radar! I am so sorry you had to endure the worst of the worst now physically, You’ve already endured the worst of the worst emotionally.
    Gabrielle’s letter was so touching. Made your efforts all the more worthwhile. To be valued. There is nothing more on this earth.

  21. Sometimes it’s the water that upsets my applecart when I’m away. Maybe you can sip a bottled one you are used to? How kind of Gabriella to write a letter to us! ☺️

  22. We are a Sisterhood, we women. How wonderful to read Gabrielle’s heartfelt thoughts between her tears.

    Take care, dear C, and hold dear these moments, these hours, these days with family.

  23. By the time this goes ‘on air’ I hope the gastric disturbance has worn off and you are truly able to enjoy being ‘back home ‘again!! Gabrielle does write like you and it was absolutely lovely to read what she had to say! Enjoy Milady enjoy!!

  24. Hey Celi … sorry to hear that you have been unwell. Oh dear, what will the blogging world think of NZ 🙂 Your sister sounds lovely – just like you and her prose mimics yours. Wonderful!

  25. what a dear, dear, heart filled and substantive response little sister. You are a writer also! C: get better; this morning’s blog a treasure.

  26. Gabrielle, thank you so much for your beautiful letter. Your use of imagery is very powerful. My eyes filled with tears as I read along. Celi wanted to share her experience, strength and hope with you and asked the Fellowship to help her. What a gift to us all this book has been. I am so glad it has helped you too.

    Feel better, C. Enjoy your new beach destination with your daughter.

  27. Celi, this brought tears to my eyes. Your little sister also writes with poetic fluency, like you. Wishing you a full recovery and lots of relaxing and happy times by the beaches.

  28. Deeply loving, healing, hopeful hugs to you, and to Gabrielle, too. Be well, be strong, be rested and filled with joy, sweet Celi!

  29. Traveling can definitely take the life out of you. I hope you recover soon and feel great again to take on the world. And I must say, this post was inspiring.

  30. I’m so glad that your little sister was held up not only by your letter to her, but the Fellowship’s letters as well. The miles between you forever shortened by the love and care put into the book.
    Hoping you are well on the mend by the time you read this. Enjoy your new beach. Take lots of pictures. 🙂

  31. Your sister is quite the writer, too, Miss C. What wonderful words she wove, how sweet you were to spearhead this project to extend the arms of many into hugs from far away. I’m so sorry to hear you had to deal with illness on your vacation. I hope you had a great day at the beach with your daughter.

  32. Pingback: Finding Orion. Three stars. | Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

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