“She stands firmly on her own two feet; and I just behind her should she ever need me.”~J. Iron Word
My sister. Jamie Kay. I just knew the day we brought her home from the hospital, we had the wrong package. I was supposed to be a big sister to a little brother, Joshua. I even confessed that to the local pharmacist in town at three and a half years old. I told him we brought Jamie home and left Joshua at the hospital. But, here she was, my little sister. And I didn’t think much of her for a while.
But then our parents split up when we were young. And we were weekend warriors between households. And I thought more of her then. Little did I realize at that moment, the best gift our parents would ever gave us was each other.
And she made me mad. She irrititated me. She was in my way. She beat me at Monopoly. And she was an amazing reader. And she was smart, so smart. And she looked cute in dresses and had sandy brown, curly hair and dimples. But she irritated me.
As teens, life turned a little upside down as life tends to do from time to time. And there was a moment it felt like she was all I had. I wasn’t always nice, and I wasn’t always able to look outside myself to see what she needed from her big sister. But she hung on. She graciously, quietly grew excelling at school. And carried burdens and buried pain and smiled all the way through.
And I graduated from high school while she entered her first year. I stayed close to home and fixed her hair and did her make-up for homecoming. I drove her around and talked boys and went to movies and drank wine one crazy night, because that’s what big sisters do. And our relationship grew. A new appreciation came about for the young lady that I grew up annoyed with, yet wanting to protect from every injustice this world could muster up.
And life grew another step. I had a baby and I watched her love my little girl and sing her lullabies and snuggle her tight. She drove me home on nights I had one too many. And I got married and she moved away to college. And joined a sorority. And met a boy that broke her heart. And moved on and met someone else. And she smiled again. Like all the way to her toes. She got engaged and I was cautiously happy. Then life turned upside down for her. And he was gone just like that. And I couldn’t bring him back. And no amount of being her big sister could change life for her when she desperately needed it to. But she hung on. She stood strong.
And she met her husband, a really great man. And a wedding came. And babies came. And we got through awful parenting days together, sharing stories and drying tears and laughing until our sides hurt, validating each other’s crazy.
There’s an honesty about my sister that’s a rarity these days. She’s pretty damn admirable. And every time I’m around her, I draw strength. I see unconditional love. I see the authenticity she emotes. She has fire in her soul and grace in her heart. She’s my favorite soul to laugh with. I can’t imagine this life without my sister. My best friend. She’s my reality check. She’s my honest jeans and swimsuit shopping partner. She tells it like it is. She calls me out on my bullshit and lifts me up. And tells me when my haircut sucks. Nobody will ever be as entertained by us as we are. She is my kind of kindred crazy.
May today be the happiest of birthdays, Jamie Kay. I am proud of everything you are, and I thank God every day he chose me to be your sister. I love you. Yes. To the moon and back!