power in the blood

“All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea – whether it is to sail or to watch it – we are going back from whence we came.”

                                                      John F. Kennedy

There’s power in the blood.

I don’t mean like in the hymn “. . . there’s power, power, wonder working power,
In the blood of the Lamb . . .” (Although there is. I’m just not referring to that particular power.)

And I don’t mean salt as in table salt.
And I don’t mean salt as in the ocean.
And I don’t necessarily mean sodium, as in the essential electrolyte that helps maintain the balance of water in and around the cells of your body. Sodium is important for proper muscle and nerve function and blood pressure stability. I do mean sodium—just not the kind you think.

What I do mean by the phrase “there is power in blood” is the everlasting, unbated power in kinship—more specifically siblings.

The other day, someone I know told me about her daughter calling her son and apologizing for all the things she had said and done that had hurt him. The brother and sister had a rift that had lasted years, and had gotten to the point they could not be in the same room. For reasons I do not know, nor need to know, this brother and sister had not spoken a kind word to one another in years, and their mother had given up hope on them. She had prayed that one or the other would see the need to settle their issues and forgive one another.

All it took was that one call to soften their hearts and open the communication lines. There’s power in the blood.

I tell you this story because it made me think about the bond of siblings. When you really look at it, our siblings are all we have left in the end. Our parents are gone and our children are busy with their own lives. Our siblings are the ones who shared the precious gift of childhood with us. We fought, we cried, we laughed, we loved, and we shared our secrets with one another. The bond of siblings remains strong in the face of adversity, family struggles, and losses.

There’s power in the blood.
There’s power in belonging to one another.
There’s power in that bond.

Our siblings are like the salt in our bodies. They are the essential “electrolyte” that helps maintain the balance in and around our lives—the “salt” that is important for proper function in our daily lives. They help to control our “pressure,” providing the stability we need.

Low sodium is a medical emergency. Low “sibling salt” is too. We can lose consciousness, have seizures and go into a coma.

My friend’s children had done just that. They had lost consciousness (communication), had seizures (argued incessantly), and went into a coma (given into stubbornness). They had become apathetic and allowed anger and hurt to impede the blood flow. They lost power.

Just like an athlete who must drink water during exercise to reduce the loss of salt in the body through perspiration, we must fuel our sibling relationships so we don’t sweat out all the nutrients we need.

This story caused me to reflect on my own sibling relationships, which have not been without tumultuous moments—we all have them. However, I know that when I’m low on sodium (or anything for that matter), I can pick up the phone and talk to my sister and she’ll help me make the world right again. I know, without fail, my brother has got my back. I know that because he has held me up a few times in the last 40 years when I thought I might fall. And the two of them know I will always, and forever, be there for them. Because they were there for me. (And really, it wouldn’t matter if they had not been there for me. I would still be there for them.)

And that time is coming rapidly for my brother. That time when he will need to lean heavily on his sisters. That time when the two of us will have to hold him up—while he holds up another.

There’s power, power, wonder working power . . .

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Constance Camille
Writer, Poet, and Photographer who craves words, and people who love words, Constance Camille hangs her hat somewhere in Florida with her three Volpino Italiani doggies where she writes fiction, creative nonfiction, and a good poem when she’s in the mood. Her idea of heaven is a picnic and a good book. A graduate of the University of Central Florida with a B.A. in English-Creative Writing, she recently completed her poetry chapbook "Other Shiny Things" and her story "The Forger" recently appeared in "The Write Stuff Anthology." She also serves as a submissions reader for the Florida based literary journal "Longleaf Review."



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