Sister Bracelets

Nov 11, 2019

When I enter a room, I am often heard before I am seen. If you know me at all you are not surprised in the least by this statement… no it is not due to my Italian heritage. No, it is not always because I use my coaching voice inside. It is due to my Sister Bracelets. No, I am not a gypsy either. I am a proud Sister. I belong to a group of women who demonstrate our connection to each other by the bracelets we wear on our left wrists. Like the Vikings of old, these bracelets demonstrate our
love, care, loyalty and commitment to one other. 

The giving of the bracelets began about 15 years ago. Being a group of sisters who have never shopped at the 5,7 and 9 stores, we were once again adventuring into another diet escapade. This time we were going to use money as our motivator for loss... because we all like money. Each of invested $333 dollars into our “biggest loser” pot. With the understanding that the sister with the greatest loss by the New Year would take it all. We were psyched! This was the beginning of October,
we had time to begin our significant weight loss adventure. 

My excitement lasted about the first 15 minutes. No, I am not kidding, one of my dearest friends
showed up with her amazing banana bread and I was done. Officially withdrawn. Really when I say the best banana bread in the world I am not exaggerating. It was worth the $333 loss. 

I honestly have no idea when the baby sister, Rica, dropped out of the competition. I do know that Cheryl, the best of us, stuck with it and had lost about 2o pounds before Christmas and had won the $1ooo dollars. 

You are asking yourself, wasn’t this story about sister bracelets? Yes, I am getting there. This Christmas morning, as our whole family gathered to rip through our presents with the excitement and exuberance of 3-year olds, Cheryl took Rica, my mom and I aside and privately gave us her gift. The first of the sister bracelets. A white and yellow gold bracelet from Tiffany’s. I will always remember the rush of excitement I felt opening that Tiffany’s blue box. Along with receiving this bracelet came the realization of the sacrifice Cheryl made with the spending of her “biggest loser” monies in order to gift us with these beautiful bracelets. The second sister bracelet was given by me the following Christmas. It is a simple bangle bracelet with the word sister stamped into it in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian.
I have continued every Christmas since, to give my sisters and mom matching bracelets. Some years they are silly and represent an experience we have
shared that particular year. 

This past Christmas my sisters received a plain cuff bracelet. On the inside it is engraved with these words;” Here’s to strong Women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”

You see, each of us has a daughter, and it is our most important job to teach them about strength, grit, grace and gratitude. Being truly grateful for my sisters and my mom is a sensation I experience deep inside of me. They are my breath, often my center and homing device. They are the tribe I can just “be” with. We are
sisters. We laugh, cry, argue, fight and always, always reconcile. They are the ones from whom I have learned what I like and don’t like about myself.

They are encouragers, lovers and they always have my back. They are my first best friends and I am blessed and favored and grateful for these women. So, the next time you are with all the Girardi girls and you think you hear music, you do. It is the
clanging of those damn bracelets.  - Sylviana

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