Sunday, August 26, 2007
My sister, my friend
I have an older sister...and a younger brother. Which makes me a middle child, but that's a post for another day.
Growing up, my sister (older by five years) was the person I looked up to, admired, and tried to be like. Her personality is different than mine--I tell people she is one of the strongest women I know. Fiercely independent, strong willed, confident, smart....all of the qualities I wanted to possess came naturally to her.
We were close growing up--all three of us. Tina was the one who looked out for me though. Our rooms were side by side, and a vent between them meant she could hear me. If I was ever sad, or lonely, or upset, Tina would inevitably hear my quiet tears and sneak into my room to comfort me. She went with me to ballet rehearsals, and coached me through some of the more difficult routines. She set the bar high going through school--I was forever known as "Tina's little sister" and it was made clear to me by countless teachers that they had high expectations because of that familial relationship. Oddly enough, that never bothered me. I had to work hard for my grades, but I thrived on the challenge, and developed good study habits that helped me to get where I am today. My brother was my playmate, but my sister was my mentor.
When it was time for me to look at colleges, I was convinced I would never go to the same school as my sister. I thought it would be my chance to blaze my own trail. Well, I quickly realized that was ridiculous and wound up at the same fantastic school she had gone to. As close as we were growing up, I think that this shared experience brought us even closer.
Life marched on--she got married and I was her maid of honor. She had her first child one April and I spent that summer, and the next, taking care of her. Those two summers still stand out as some of the most special I've ever had. And the bond that I formed with my first niece is one that I will forever cherish.
Then I got married, and, of course, Tina stood beside me on the alter. Two years later, and it is my sister that I turn to to discuss my pregnancy difficulties.
Those summers of caring for my niece began a tradition that we continue to this day. My sister and I will, a few times each summer, meet up for lunch. We did this recently--lunch is almost inevitably followed by shopping, or a movie. I have come to treasure this time spent with my older sister. But it was only recently that it hit me: somewhere along the way, the little girl that looked out for her littler sister became the woman that is one of my best friends.
So, Tina, to you I say: Thank you for being the best sister a girl could ever have. I love you.