The O’Brien Sisters
The O’Brien sisters are the first new friends the heroine of my novel makes when she starts her adventures in the city. They remain loyal to her throughout the story.
Because they came to my imagination when I was a young teen, no more than 12 or 13, I have lived with them a long time. At first I seemed to experience things through their eyes. I learned to explain my faith to others by explaining it to the O’Brien sisters in my imagination.
Ruthe meets the younger sister, Muriel, first when she goes driving up and down the streets to look for someone in need. After rescuing the 15 year old auburn-haired teen from a dreadfully embarrassing situation and taking her home, our shy Mennonite country girl ends up meeting their mother.
When Mrs. Pearl O’Brien is dying, Muriel calls on Ruthe again at a crucial time, but Ruthe drops all to rush in to help her find Cathy who has just eloped.
Ruthe soon observes that the sisters are opposites in many ways, but both are so eager to learn more about the Christian life from her, that she ends up in their home any time she can work a little visit in between her shifts as a telephone operator.
The O’Brien sisters have two brothers, also totally different, with different effects and relationships with Ruthe, but we won’t go there right now.
Muriel lives in the shade of her blonde sister, Cathy, who is an extroverted party-animal, who wanted fun, to make sure she marries well, and likes to tease and pit her boyfriends against each
other. Well, at the beginning, that is how it is.
Once they learn to trust Christ as the only way to God, and discover that Jesus is a real and constant Friend they can talk to at any moment, there are some leveling changes. Cathy seems to grow up and becomes a responsible chatelaine in their father’s home. She’s very savvy in social situations.
Muriel watches Ruthe’s innate ability to identify with and counsel underdogs, and decides she wants to be like that too. She sets her heart on learning to be a social worker.
Ruthe has a passion to seek out people in trouble and before long she’s meeting others and her life gets divided into many little compartments, as she honours the confidences her wide range of friends. However, the O’Brien sisters are her constantly loyal friends.
In fact, when she begins to compare her friends to roses, she decides that these two must be yellow ones, for she read that yellow ones stand for faithfulness and loyalty. In her mind, they are teaching her, not only a lot about city life, and how the richer folks live, but constancy in one’s relationships.