I tell this story all the time, of how I remember my sister's birthday, on a hot August day when I was 3 years old and a little bit. And I do – as long as I have some remembrance in my brain, I will always see that day, somewhat fuzzy, but the sound of that news will be clear.
It's been 39 years since that day and my baby sister is getting ready to enter her last year of the third decade of her life. A life that's been fun, and hard, and challenging, and interesting, sad, and incredibly funny, lonely at times, and not so lonely for the most part, and all in all, a life that's been worth it all! This much time passing just about knocks the breath right out of my chest! 39 years!
I have more memories with my sister than I have with anyone else I have ever met, I believe. Even when we're apart, we pick each other's brain – maybe more now that we're adults and respectful of each other than when we were little and picking on each other all the time.
I have learned so much from her. First off, I learned how to stop being the spoiled brat only child I was when she came along, and how to start sharing everything with her. She taught me that we're not alone in the world. We have a soul mate. And she has been mine. Not in the “exact match” kind of soul mate, but more in the “ying-and-yang” sense of the word. She is the light of my darkness, and I am hers.
As a typical second baby, she was always the competitive one. I learned patience to yield to her and teach her things. I taught her how to read and write, and later on, she taught me music and art. She has taught me love and warmth all my life, and goodness.
She is an odd mix of tender and bitey, small and powerful, meek and don't-f*-with-me-people!. Above all, she has the most beautiful, most pure smile, and the most clear twinkle in the eye.
She makes me melt only by thinking of her.
We've been through everything together and through it all, I always know she's got my back. She's raising her own family now, but I still feel like she and I share a heart just as much as when we were kids and shared a bed. Our relationship will always be strong and unique, no matter the rest of our liaisons in life. There is this bond, this sacred understanding, this blood that runs through our veins and connects our every thought that will always be there, no matter how many thousands of miles or people are between us.
Today, I remember everything: how we fought, how we laughed, how we made pranks together. I remember climbing mountains, tanning at the beach (she never burned, unlike me), eating berries till our tongues would turn black, fishing for trout with our bare hands. I remember her tom-boyish years when she was hung by her leg in a rusty nail on a tall fence. I remember fighting for boyfriends, and crying ourselves to sleep with a sigh. The following morning, we were sisters again.
I remember when she went to the ER as a small kid, with an infected hand, full of puss, and she spent days hooked up to IV's and I could not go visit her. Broke my heart! I remember dancing in clubs on the beach when I was in college and falling asleep in each other's arms, in the sand till the first rays of sun would sneak under our eyelids and wake us up.
I remember when she went to France the first time in middle school, when I thought she would never come back home. I remember how her world fell apart when I moved to the States and I thought I'd never see her again.
I remember her wedding. Her first pregnancy, every heart beat of it, every emotion, every notebook she filled with knowledge about “what to expect when you're expecting.” Then, the immense love she had to give to this small baby. I remember my wedding. Her second baby. I remember all four of us, with mom and dad, smiling for pictures and knowing that those moments were precious as they would be rare.
I wish you the best in life to come, sis, and more bright days than not, more sunny summers than not, more health, more love, and more abundance than ever before. As you approach your 40th year of life, I thank God that you exist and I thank you for giving us your all. May the next year be your best one yet, and may you forever smile and keep us guessing …
I miss you more!
I miss you more!