The Ya Ya Sisterhood

One of my favorite movies of all time is the Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood!

I love everything about it!  The cast is amazing and the story compelling.

Essentially, it is about the unbreakable bond between a group of friends, whom call themselves the Ya Ya Sisterhood, that spans decades.  This bond and these friendships carry these women through some fun and challenging times.  This story further details the complicated relationships between mothers and their children and the powerful connection that women create with each other over time.  As the movie progresses, we learn about broken hearts, family troubles, public humiliations, nervous breakdowns, and alcoholism. Despite the sometimes silly antics of the Ya Ya’s, the overall feel of this movie is despair over what happens to someone too weak to deal with life’s problems.

The greater story is about the relationship between mother, Vivi and daughter, Sidda.  Both women are locked in a continuing mother-daughter struggle.  Sidda is a successful playwright who makes the mistake of telling Time magazine about her troubled childhood with alcoholic and abusive Vivi. When Vivi reads the Time article, she flies into a rage.   All of this ultimately leads to angry communication between the two women and they end on non-speaking terms.  Enter the “Ya-Ya Sisterhood”, who decide that the best way to mend the relationship is to help Sidda better understand and empathize with Vivi.

As the movie progresses you are carried though the highs and lows with these woman.

The humor is contagious and the sadness deep.

Part of what Sidda learns is that she and her mother are part of a multi-generational pattern of dysfunctional communication. In their family system, mothers and daughters battle for power, husbands and wives exist in passionless marriages, and alcoholism and abuse are symptoms of unexpressed  frustration and depression.  On a positive note, as Sidda realizes the hardships and heartaches her mother experienced, she is able to forgive her, and Vivi, on her end, accepts responsibility for her failings. The movie succeeds in pulling all the bad and good factors together and gives us a fairly peaceful ending of love and forgiveness.

I understand this movie on a very deep level.  I have always felt that I was Sidda in this movie and of course, Vivi my mother.   Our stories, though not exact, are uncannily similar.  Our relationship was at times, every bit as dramatic as the one depicted in this movie.  And at at other times, we could find the same peace that Sidda and Vivi found.

 Regardless of our struggle, there are things I miss about my mother.  I miss her voice.  I miss her creative ideas.  I miss the fact that my children don’t have their grandmother.   I even miss the things that annoyed me about her.  I wish life would’ve been more simple and easier growing up but then, I would not be who I am today and for that, I am grateful.

“It’s life. You don’t figure it out. You just climb up on the beast and ride.”  ~Rebecca Wells, author of Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood.

The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood is a powerful story that will make you laugh and cry.  I hope you enjoy!







My True Life Partner(s)

I think what I find most intriguing about sibling relationships is how many people don’t have them.  To me that idea is foreign because my siblings have just simply always been around.  In fact, I find it always a little surprising when my co-workers comment how my little sister, Ally and I get along so well (yep, we work in the same place).  They find us chatting in a corner, often laughing about something or coming up with a new scheme or story.  You may find this weird (because many people do) but when I see my sister at work I always get a little excited (she works supplemental, so that means, not often-lucky girl!).  See the thing is, I don’t find that weird.

Don’t get me wrong, we can fight, pull hair, scratch and punch as well as the rest of any other dysfunctional siblings out there.  But as much as we could do that to each other, if anyone else tried to hurt one of us, they would face the wrath of the other siblings.

There are 9 of us.  I have 3 sister’s Roxy, Dawn and Ally and 5 brother’s Randy, Lon and Chad.  (Daren and Douglas died when they were 22 and an infant, respectively.)  So we are now a living tribe of 7.  And I love my tribe dearly!  More than love, believe it or not we actually kind of like each other.

An article on the cover of Time magazine caught my eye several years ago, it read “your true life partner”.  I was intrigued and so I picked it up thinking, who IS my true life partner?  Turns out it’s my siblings!  The article made a lot of sense though and as I read through it, I couldn’t help but think about how true it was.

It read something like, “Your siblings are with you throughout your life.  Your parents start with you but then they leave you all too soon.  Your spouse or significant other comes later, they may stay or they may go.  Your children come in the middle.  But your siblings will see you off from the start and they will see you to the end”.

Kind of cool.  Kind of profound.

I’m sad for people that don’t know sibling like and love.  I am happy for those that do!  I can’t imagine my life without this crazy Anderson bunch!

To my tribe, we’ve had some great times, some sad times, some confusing times, some hilarious times and some hard times, each situation bonded us even more.

To my Life Partners, here’s to the past and to the future!