Earlier this week, my “baby” sister turned 25! I can’t believe it. It really does not seem that long ago that we were putting makeup on our little brother or playing barbies under a tent in our bedroom.
And now here we are, well into our 20’s with our own little families.
There is something so special about a sister relationship.
I really cannot even remember my life without Justina in it. We shared a bedroom most of our lives where we would talk and laugh late into the night, share each other’s clothes and shoes (which really sounds a bit more lovely than it really was. I mean, it gave each of us a bigger wardrobe. But it also caused many an argument…), lock each other out, hide from our parents, cuddle together scared of thunderstorms, and tiptoe around to get ready while the other one was still sleeping.
A sister is a friend that goes way beyond the depths of other friendships.
Because you have shared your entire lives with each other.
Because you have truly seen each other at your worst.
Because you have rolled your eyes and thought you couldn’t stand them; you have screamed at them and called them names, yet if anyone else even attempted to treat them that way, you would turn into the hulk and get insanely defensive and protective over them.
I have slept beside Justina on 13 hour family drives to Massachusetts while our brother was singing “I know a song that gets on everybody’s nerves…”
I have sat beside her at many family dinners.
I have run with her through long grass, shallow creeks, and beaches.
I have walked with her through breakups, transitions, and loss.
I have sat beside her hospital bed, and have cried with her on the phone.
She has listened to my irrational rants on hard days, advising me to eat some carbs and drink some wine (she gives great advice).
She held my daughter in the hospital the day she was born, and took her on her first little toddler trip to the zoo.
She has held my hand when my world has fallen apart.
She stood beside me and defended me when a [misunderstood] scandal broke out and people in our hometown were saying awful things.
I’ve thrown things at her. I’ve said mean words to her (<–these things in childhood, of course). I’ve laughed with her until my stomach hurts and I gave the toast at her wedding.
I may or may not have gone on a rage-filled search all through our hometown with my father one day to track down a cheating boyfriend of hers, convinced that we were going to end up in jail if we actually found him…
I have been worried for her. I have hurt deeply for her. I have been excited for her. I have watched her fall apart. I have watched her grow strong. I have rejoiced deeply with her when she found the incredible man who is now her husband, a very welcomed addition to the family.
I have experienced a lifelong empathy for Justina, an investment in her life as if there is a section of my heart that is solely reserved for her.
I have often told Jordan that I hope Riley has a sister one day. I want her to know the sweetness and the eternal bond between sisters, like Justina and I have.
(For the record, I also hope Riley has a brother one day. I love my brother too, and there are different great things about a sister/brother relationship!)
Happy 25 years, sis! I love you and I look forward to walking through the next 25+ with you!
Your big sis.