Dear sister,

You must know that you are the first person that I ever looked up to in my life. Little sisters do that, I guess. When you’re 5 years old and your sister is a mature 10 year old – I mean Double DIGITS – that’s big stuff. Not to mention, people just seemed to love you. Easily. And as I grew up, the idolizing went into jealousy a bit. Because you were ahead of me in EVERYTHING and got to do EVERYTHING first. Wear makeup, drive, date…. and the truth is, I dont think it was about you being ” first” at all. I think it was that part of that little 5 year old girl stayed inside me, watching you, and I was afraid that one day, you’d get so far ahead of me……that you’d leave me….and forget me. My best friend, the one I shared everything with.

But you didn’t.

I was your maid of honor – just like we always planned. I was there when your first child was born – just like we always planned. And vice-versa.

We still get to take a long walk down a country road every now and then – still sharing, still close.

Seems silly now that I ever worried that you’d forget me.

You’ve been there for me too. Through so many ups and downs. Only a phone call and a Huddle House date away.

I’ve watched you weather many storms. Seen you fall apart and rise up. I’ve been powerless to help you but always there if I COULD help. Because that’s what we do.

We’re sisters. We kick each others butts when needed and we offer a shoulder when we understand that a good cry is in order. We’ve been allies and enemies. We’ve been successful and we’ve been failures. We’ve been silly and we’ve been serious. But we’ve always, ALWAYS been in it together.

So know this, my big sister: on your birthday and on the other 364 days a year, you are special. You are beautiful. You are the first best friend I ever knew. You are my go-to person when I’m feeling homicidal. You are my inside-joke protector. You are my mommy-commiserator.

You are stuck with me. Forever.
Because our bond is forged in laughter, tears, heartache, joy, pain, hope, faith, and love. And I love you so very much and hope you feel it all day long on your special day.