I am the youngest of three children. I’ve written about the best big brother a woman could have already, and I am pleased to say he is still the best big brother a woman could have. I wanted to write about my big sister as part of the launch of my new website — because she, like my brother, has always been encouraging of all my adventures.
My sister is six years older than I am and so we didn’t really play with each other when we were younger. There just isn’t much in common between, say, an eight year old and a fourteen year old. And of course she still gives me a hard time for playing with her make up — which I still do not remember doing! When I was at that age, however, I thought my sister was the most beautiful and smartest girl ever, and I wished I could be like her. She always made A’s at school, her hair was flawless, and her make up was perfect. (Even if I supposedly played with it before she applied it.)
I moved out at 19 years old in order to attend the university I later graduated from. I moved in with my sister. For some reason my parents were apprehensive with this set-up. In their minds, my sister and I would fight all the time and end up hating each other. My sister and I really had no idea why they thought this. We thought it would be a great adventure. We shared a room and had a great time together. There were some growing pains though. I had just left a job where I was a receptionist, for example, and so I thought it was only natural that when I came home from class that I would listen to messages and write them down and then delete them. I guess that bothered my sister because she was annoyed by it. Of course I stopped once she told me.
It was with my sister that I discovered t.v. shows like The Highlander and anxiously waiting for who would lose his or her head each episode. Once we saw a police car with its lights flashing under a gas station awning and we panicked, thinking we were witnessing a Quickening. My sister would wake me up late at night because there was an episode of Baywatch in which “someone was getting eaten by a shark!” Like a sucker, I would get out of bed and watch the episode. Nobody was ever eaten by a shark.
My sister always taught me how to relax. I came to her as an uptight 19 year old without the ability to relax. All of a sudden, I was being pulled out of bed to watch David Hasselhoff and not worrying about it when she stayed up until ridiculous hours playing Risk — and winning by conquering Australia. There were the times when it would be quiet in our room and we were (I thought) falling asleep and she would wake me up with, “We never talk anymore. Why don’t you talk to me?” and then start giggling crazily. And no matter how many times I would groan and say, “Oh my gosh, shut up! I have an 8 o’clock class!” it didn’t matter. She would yammer on until I started responding.
I loved that and I miss it.
My sister is a good woman and a great mom. She is willing to do anything for her family. In the last few years I’ve been through great and challenging times. Probably the most difficult times I’ve ever experienced. My sister is the one who would remind me of the things that mattered most. She would be the one who would focus my attention on what needed to be done so I could get it done. My sister is the one who reminded me that I was strong enough to handle whatever was thrown at me because I was me. While my brother helped me gain long term perspective, my sister is the one who helped me gain short term strength until I had my own.
My sister is no stranger to life’s difficulties and has been able to ride her own storms. She taught me how to trim my sails and catch the wind to my best advantage. I love her, my big sister, and I am grateful for having her in my life. Because of her, I can sail on any horizon and conquer the waves.