I’m the youngest of my dad’s ten children, but I grew up with my sister, Cynthia Renee Mills, who passed December 7, 1990. I knew my other siblings, but there was a considerable age difference, so we didn’t connect until I became an adult.
Even though Renee and I were like night and day, I always looked up to her. It was hard for me not to have her; she passed right before my 21st birthday. I often wondered what our relationship would be like as adults. I imagined that we would be best of friends, raising our children together and supporting each other as we took care of our parents in their senior years. I miss my sister with all my heart.
Because God promises never to leave us or forsake us, and He foresaw my journey, He strategically placed women. These women filled the void of my sister and every emptiness when I needed guidance from a female perspective. This allowed me to renew my relationships with my other siblings and family members.
These relationships have framed how I view my life as a daughter, sister, aunt, friend, woman. I have blessed with having a village of women pour into me values and perspectives I could get from women from homemakers, the ‘hood, corporate America, and the church. As vast and different as each may be, they all have shown me a side of me I should embrace and value. Nothing I’ve gone through in life should be looked at as a negative or embarrassment, but as a steppingstone used to elevate me to be the best MARIETTA, there is; no one can beat me at being me!
As women, we wear so many hats and juggle many things and don’t miss a beat. We take on this role often at the expense of our peace and joy, all without complaint. Because of this, we often go through things in silence because who has time to complain when you have so many counting on you? Therefore, opportunities to love on each other are needed. No one else can understand the pain of giving birth to a child but another woman. No one else can understand the physical pain we endure (not only monthly) but to go to work, tend to the house, help with homework, and look suitable for our husbands but another woman.
If you think about creation, man and the animals were taken from the earth (Genesis 2:7; Genesis 2:19), but the woman was taken from the rib of man. I know how this signifies we are a part of man and created as a help to him, but I also want to note the rib or rib cage has three critical functions: not just support but also protection and respiration.
I could go deep here but know that we are truly unique and special. This is why this photoshoot was vital for me to do.
The women represented in this video and pictures are a small representation of the woman who have walked with me, cried with me, loved on me, cursed me out to get me back on track, prayed for me, encouraged me, or those I admired from afar as I watched them live their pains and struggles out loud but yet did it with elegance and grace. This was a moment for me to say, “Thank You.”
I’m genuinely THANKFUL to have each of them, and those that could not attend; in my life, whether it’s past or present, know that you have played a tremendous role in who I am today. Even if I don’t communicate with some daily, their lives, acts of love, and just being the AWESOME WOMAN that they are have had a significant impact on my life.
This is just the beginning of this Sisterhood! More information to come!