A Gift Rediscovered: Sisters


Chloe Mendoza, Co-Editor in Chief

These trying times have given me an unlikely gift. For the past few weeks my house has been home to all three Mendoza sisters, making this longest period of time we’ve been together in over five years. 

Despite the things this virus has taken from the publicour lives, our perception of safety, our educational opportunities, our once in a lifetime experiences, our choicesbeing with my sisters has given me the part of myself that only time could’ve gifted me. 

As SATs got cancelled and summer programs went down the drain, I felt as if the world was collapsing around me and chances of going to the college of my choice were slim. 

My senses were on overload: I couldn’t visit my friends, Google Classroom assignments were popping up left and right, and frustrations ran high. I was experiencing a multitude of overwhelming emotions. 

At the same time I knew that in no way had I received the short end of the straw. My family and I were alive and healthy, privileged enough to social distance from our home, and I was definitely not suffering like I knew some of my high school senior friends were. 

Still, I couldn’t help but let my feelings overtake me, and for a while I was flooded with these emotions and worries. 

These feelings resolved themselves after careful consideration on my part and after several serious talks with my experienced older sisters. They helped to calm my valid fears, but they also told me when I was being completely irrational (like when I said collegeinmypjs.com would be the only option for my collegiate endeavors). 

By now I’ve become accustomed to receiving their sisterly advice, but this time it was different.

It was now coming from both a kind best friend and a knowing older sister. It was the relationship I’d always wanted as a little girl, but could never quite achieve. 

Now I realize we haven’t minded the almost eight-year age gap in a long time, and the fact that we’re in different stages of life is simply a background detail. 

This was not the case growing up. The age gap is made quite apparent at six years old when you’re sporting pigtails and following around your cool teenage sisters. 

For years I wanted nothing more than to be best friends with my older sisters, for they had been inseparable since birth! I definitely wanted in on that action. But just as I hit an age that made this seem possible, they both left for college, and I was left alone all over again. 

Our timelines never seemed to fit well together. I was growing up, experiencing all the highs and lows of adolescence, while my sisters were off at college, unaware of the young adult I was becoming. When they’d visit for short periods of time, they still saw me as the same six-year-old with pigtails. 

Slowly but surely, over longer periods of time, my sisters began to know me as both a friend and a sister, no longer an annoying little girl. Despite all the strides we’d made, for years I have felt that a small piece of our relationship was still missing. 

These past weeks have gifted me with the long anticipated piece, appearing only once I stopped looking for it. I’m not sure exactly when it appeared, but I’m confident that empty space is now filled with mutual respect and understanding. 

The changes were made evident through the small things—the words we use, the TV shows we watch, the revelations of small, previously unknown details about our lives—and I see now that small things may be the most indicative of love and trust. 

During this time my sisters and I have binge-watched the entire Twilight Saga, spontaneously “doguied” in each others’ rooms, made fun of each other’s silly mannerisms, WWE-body-slammed one another on our beds, and made up for so much the lost time (petty fights and tears included).  

These moments have been years in the making, and had I known all it took was some time and patience, perhaps I’d have saved myself a lot of trouble. But then again, maybe trouble was just the thing I needed in order to finally grow into a worthy friend. 

Six-year-old Chloe would be ecstatic! She knew that her siblings were a gift. But only seventeen-year-old Chloe could truly understand the wonderful thing that is a sister.