I just finished My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. This story is riddled with tales of the pain, anger, fear, confusion and despair that surrounds a family affected by childhood leukemia. It is also a story about relationships and the magnitude of those connections in times of grief and doubt.  I am a parent of a child with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and so much of this book spoke to me, but I found myself pitying this family who seemed to have few healthy connections, even among themselves.  Like most women, I cannot imagine where I would be without all the others in my life that keep me whole. 

To me, it is the many relationships I have and the emotions that surround them that let me know I am alive. I cherish the tears and pain just as much as the laughter and joy, because I know that one cannot exist without the other.

Every relationship I have is a blessing. The neighbor that makes me laugh every time I see him. The student who I so desperately want to reach. The sister who always knows exactly what to say in every situation. The friend who not only knows how to laugh with me, but also to cry with me. The husband whose arms are the greatest refuge of all and the children who inspire me to hug longer, say “I love you” more often and enjoy the here and now.

One thing that I have experienced over the past few years is having a perhaps uncommonly clear view of how strong my relationships are and how much I am loved.  Not surprisingly, the majority of these people are women.  We all have special people in our lives, but how often do we tell them how valuable they really are to us? Perhaps we shouldn't wait until tragedy hits.

One of the foundations of Inspired Wining is friendship and sisterhood. My many “sisters” know how much I love them because they have given me plenty of opportunities to thank them. I'd like to think that they have always known how special they are to me, but I suspect I never told them until they gave me a reason to tell them. Why wait?

So to all my “sisters” out there, I love you, I can't imagine life without you and I cannot wait for the memories that lie ahead!

Allison Wood Greiner is a high school French teacher, a founding member of Inspired Wining, and mother to three children, including Matthew, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.


  1. Beautifully written. Allison, you and your family are loved more than you know.

    1. Thank you, Sandy. I think I have a pretty good idea of just how lucky we really are. I just need to make sure that the love is returned!