After our exciting time in New Orleans (watch video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEjoSS6PKx4 ) Chris and I were off to make a special stop in Nashville, Tennessee to visit my sister Kathryn. In the last 8 months, Kathryn had been diagnosed with lymphoma (cancer on the lymph nodes), gone through 6 rounds of chemotherapy, and fought her way into remission. Going through a challenging experience like this brought my family closer together. My sister is 5 years older than me and we haven’t been around each other ever since she left to go to college when I turned 13. So fast forward 9 years later and I would end up living 1 month with Kathryn in Nashville supporting her through this period. It ended up being a reconnecting experience for us. We had to learn how to talk to one another as the more grown versions of ourselves. It was like meeting a new friend, but sharing a close connection as the brother and sister we are. Chris and I drove 8 hours North of New Orleans through Alabama. It went from swamp to beautiful forests. The sides of the highway were covered with purple, pink, yellow, and white wild flowers. When we arrived to Nashville, Kathryn and her puppy (Ari) we’re waiting for us. I was happy to see my sister and friend again. Kathryn had just come back from a trip to Hawaii where she went through a holistic healing seminar. She looked rejuvenated and healthy. We started swapping stories from our adventures. Gal, Kathryn’s boyfriend, came home later that night and we all got to catch up. During our time together we got to eat good food, kayak, do yoga, meditate and most importantly talk.
I was listening to TED Radio Hour about love and one of the most important relationships they emphasized was between siblings. Siblings have been there from the beginning. They know great stories about you that you might not remember, you can have a trusted ally when facing your parents, and you have someone that can understand you all the way to the root of who you are. I often think we act most like our unfiltered selves when we are kids.
“Blood is thicker than water” :P
My time in Nashville was fantastic and the relationship I am developing with Kathryn became even greater. If you have a sibling, I make one request: reach out to them today. Ask them “how they are doing” and be willing to truly listen. We don’t get to choose our siblings, but you will never have someone who was so closely wrapped to your roots as them. Hold on and grow that relationship because they will be there for you from beginning to end :)
Chris ended up clicking right into the family circle, which made me happy to know that our bromance was meant to be! We left Nashville with full bellies and full hearts headed on our way to Asheville, North Carolina.