Sharing – A Defining Trait

Sharing quote 2

“I miss her!”  I was talking about my sister once again. 

My mother said, “I know. I do too. She always shared her life with others.” 

I thought about Mom’s words and realized that it was a defining trait of my sister, Carolyn. 

She shared her life with her colleagues, her friends, and best of all, her family.  I recalled the many times she showed up unannounced at our door. She might have a special tea in hand and chat for an hour. Or drop off an “extra” vegan meal she’d made for us to try. (she always prepared more than she needed, certain we’d like to sample her healthy meals). She might bring a garage sale item for one of us, a “find.” Often, she had a child in tow, parked the stroller and sat on the steps. It was an attempt to nudge us out into the sunshine. She’d get me away from the computer and my mother out of her kitchen. Sometimes, she had her walking shoes on and invited my brother to the track for some exercise.  It was difficult to say no to her. 

My sister with the eldest granddaughter in Lake Erie
My sister with the eldest granddaughter in Lake Erie

My sister’s infectious smile was, itself, sunshine. 

She loved getting out and about and interacting with others. She enjoyed swimming, picnics, and our small town parades, followed by cookouts–of course, with bean burgers and barbecue sauce! We celebrated all our birthdays at her house-with a special prayer and meal in our honor and nicely-wrapped gifts to open afterward. After she turned vegan, she made strange substitutes for cake, desserts we politely sampled made from carob or honey and topped with fruit. She introduced us to banana ice cream–that is, frozen bananas put through her juicer. She convinced us it really was ice cream!  In summer, we never left her house without a bag of fresh veggies or a container of the red raspberries plucked from bushes that bloomed all summer long. 

Like the bushes, life with my sister was sweet and fruitful. 

As she grew more ill, she quietly gave up her afternoons in the sunshine and became bed-bound. Still, she shared her life. It all took place in her house. Yes, we went to her and gathered together to celebrate her waking moments.The atmosphere was warm and inviting. Laughter erupted at various times from around the room as her granddaughters played. 

“Ga-ga, Look at me!” That was Lilly, dressed in princess finery, a big purse slung over one shoulder. She clunked over to her bed wearing heels much larger than her feet. 

The girls play

The house was filled with caring as the elder daughter seated herself next to my sister and helped her eat, sharing a humorous story from work that day. The younger daughter would enter the room, lean over and ask her mother if she needed anything. My brother and I, and sometimes, my mother,  kept her up-to-date on our activities as well. Though you were inside a house of suffering, you never felt that because of the sharing that went on. 

Increasingly, my sister shared her faith, most of the time without words–simply by her actions.

It was in her smile, the music she listened to, the uncomplaining way she accepted the changes she faced, the number of visits she had, cards she received with reminders of God’s love and even the many who came to say goodbye. 

Yes, she shared herself through it all.

I didn’t know that in sharing herself, she was carving out such a defining trait in herself.  But seeing how lovingly she did it makes me want to serve others by including them in my life. This is definitely an area for me to work on.


How often do you share yourself? Is there someone you can you share yourself with more? Who can you include in your circle that you don’t already?

By the way, I started to print my posts in a larger font so that I could catch some of the typos my vision doesn’t see when the print is smaller. One lady said her screen reader caught some I missed. Yikes! What do you think of this size font? 


You have read “Sharing-a Defining Trait,” by Amy L. Bovaird. © Copyright March 11, 2015. I love to read your comments, have you like and share it. Thanks! 

Sharing – a defining trait
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6 thoughts on “Sharing – a defining trait

  • March 15, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Hi Amy,

    I like the font size. I may need to enlarge mine, too.

    I feel like I know your sister because you have shared so much about her caring life with us. I wish I could have met her. I like how she lived our her faith. It gives us all an example to live by. It’s something I need to work on more. That’s for sure.

    By the way, banana is my favorite ice cream, so my mouth watered when I read about Carolyn’s homemade variety.

    Take Care,


  • March 15, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    This is a very sweet remembrance. I am this close with my own sister and it is so wonderful. Glad you have these happy memories to think back on now, but I’m sure she had a presence that can never be replaced.
    RIP to your sister and to you I say…she will never leave your heart.

  • March 18, 2015 at 2:14 am

    Hi Amy; these are the kinds of people we need to model ourselves after and they are the people who we should listen to more. my dad was a funny man who always had a good time and a good story or joke at hand. he didn’t let the stress of life get him down. i miss him a lot. thanks for reminding me that he wouldn’t want me working so hard but at the same time he’d be proud that i found something that i’ve made my own. take care my friend, max

  • March 19, 2015 at 1:48 am

    Hi Matt,
    So you like the larger size? I haven’t gotten any other feedback so I think I’ll keep using it. And keep asking. 🙂
    Ha ha! My sister was very proud of the banana ice cream. She got us all excited to try it!

  • March 19, 2015 at 4:45 am

    Hi Kerry,
    I recall that your family is a strong support in your life. My family is the same.
    Even after being diagnosed with cancer, my sister once drove me to a writer’s meeting in spite of her back being in pain. She was really incredible. I do miss her a lot! But you are right and my mother tells me the same thing: we have wonderful memories to fall back on. So I will try to do that and remember all her wisdom! 🙂
    Thanks so much for your comment!

  • March 19, 2015 at 5:02 am

    I so agree, Max!
    My dad was the same, and my sister loved a good story, too!
    You sound like you are doing great with your booklet, and getting a foot in the door with your recordings.
    Have you tried itunes? I’m just now looking into that. That might be a good solution to where to post your music.

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