“We didn't know we didn't have much because we had so much fun,” Smith said. “It was a great childhood. Our parents were strict but loving.”
Growing older, closer
It was at the roller-skating rink that Smith met her future husband, Doug, after a friend of his dared him to introduce himself.
The two hit it off and married soon after. Smith traveled with her husband to Georgia, Japan, Tennessee and Florida when his military duty called for them to move.
“That first year was hard. I'd call my mom crying, saying I couldn't do this. She'd just say, ‘Yes you can; you'll be fine.' Then I'd call Shonsy.”
A year after Smith married, Sybert married her high school sweetheart, Richard.
With a limited budget and little time to plan, Sybert used some of her sister's wedding decorations as well as her gown.
“I didn't mind. It was a gorgeous dress, and she looked beautiful,” Smith said.
Each sister has two daughters and several grandchildren. They live just minutes apart and get the entire family together during holidays. Their mother and brother live in the same neighborhood.
“We try to make these memories and traditions for our children. I don't know if they'll continue them after we're gone, but I hope they will,” Sybert said.
Smith said her daughters often ask if she and Sybert fought as children.
“I tell them of course we did. I didn't like her when I was young,” Smith said. “But I'm so thankful for her now. I think, in general, siblings get closer with age, and thank God for that, because the older we get the more we need people in our lives who love us.”