An Open Letter to My Older Sister
My older sister is literally the best big sister you can ask for. I hear y’all… “come on” you say, we all must think our sisters are the best, but no really, she is. She was always the one I wrote about in school when you had to do a project on your role model… She was the one I called when I lost my virginity… She was the one that talked me through a panic attack when I put on weight and couldn’t find anything flattering to wear to the company Christmas party. She’s my rock and the greatest person I know. Today, she is moving away to Texas. It’s not the first time one of us is moving away, but I think it might very well be the hardest time. For all of these reasons… this letter is for her.
Thank you for taking on the role of the first child and doing a damn good job at it. From not kissing a boy until you were 16, to always following the rules, to helping mom with everything, you were the prize first child. Although living up to you in life was hard (our parents, the teachers we both had, etc. will probably tell you I didn’t quite do that), you in a lot of ways made life easier. For one, our parents were stricter on you and learned they could chill out a little with me. For two, you were great, so I could be me and free. For three, you paved the way. Who knows if I could have been the first one to go to UGA and figure it all out on my own?!
Thank you for teaching me pretty much everything in life. Seriously, what would I have done without someone to wax my eyebrows the first few times and then show me how to do it myself? What would I have done without some to teach me how to tease my hair (imagine my life without big hair!) and how to put my makeup on? What would I have done without someone to explain the UGA bus system to me and to help me figure out what to do with my life when I got cut from sorority rush freshman year?
Thank you for always listening. I can’t count the number of times I have vented to you and complained incessantly without you ever getting annoyed. Who knows how many times I’ve explained why I’m binge eating and how I’ll be healthy again tomorrow with you just to nod without judgment. No matter what I’ve ever needed to talk about you’ve been there to listen… and vent with me… and cry with me, and that’s one of the things I’ll miss the most when you’re gone.
Thank you for helping me get back in shape again. Despite having a workout junky younger sister, it was going to really take a force of nature to get me back into eating healthy and working out. As much as I complained and said I hated it every time we went to the gym, I loved spending that time with you and getting stronger with you every day. We accomplished a big feat… and we did it together and I’ll forever be grateful for that.
Thank you for helping me plan my wedding. I know it was so sad for you having your husband deploy and I would never wish that on my worst enemy, but having you around to plan my wedding was the biggest blessing. I can’t imagine how lackluster the whole thing would have been if I hadn’t had you to write beautiful calligraphy on all of my invitations, to make all of my beautiful signs and mirrors, to go on vendor meetings and to make me work when all I wanted to do was sleep on the couch.
Thank you for being a good example. You have always given me someone to look up to. Whether it was excelling in academics and working your butt off studying 24/7 or standing up for the man you love and making a beautiful marriage, you’ve done things the right way. I know you’re not perfect and that you’ve made mistakes, but to me… you’re pretty perfect.
Thank you for picking me up when I fall down and for loving me even when I knock you down. I mean this both literally and metaphorically. I’ll never live down knocking you off your feet as just a toddler, but in life, I know it’s happened a lot. I’ve always been the hot head who said hurtful things when you drove my car with my cap and gown in it right before high school graduation and when I was ignorant about things that were really none of my business, but you never chose to strike back and hurt me. You’ve always given me unconditional love and forgiveness. That I appreciate more than you will ever know.
Thank you for teaching me how to be a good big sister. I’ll always be sad for you that you didn’t get to have a big sister, because it’s truly the biggest blessing in the world. The way you have guided me, given me advice, been there for me when I needed you, spent quality time with me, laughed and cried with me… it’s all taught me how to be a good big sister to Alyssa and Avalyn. I still have a lot to learn since I haven’t quite figured out how to keep my cool all the time, but luckily, you’re there to keep us all sane.
Most of all, thank you for being my best friend. I’ll never forget the day you left for college… August 12, 2005. It was my 14th birthday and my saddest birthday to date. Since then, you and I have both moved off to different places and lived apart from each other, so when in an unfortunate series of events, Daniel deployed and you had to move home and my roommates graduated from nursing school and I had to move home, I was surprised to find the very best friendship. I had always loved you, we had always been friends, but this year at home, we weren’t five years apart, we weren’t my way older sister and your way younger sister, we were are best friends. I died a little inside knowing I was moving home and it ended up being the best thing that could have happened to me leading up to the wedding. I’m so grateful that you could be here for my engagement and my wedding, and to hold mom together through Uncle Allen & Aunt Tricia’s passing since I’ve never been quite as good at that kind of stuff as you.
I’m really going to miss you, just like I do every time you move. I swear to you, I’ve already gotten fatter this week or two leading up to you leaving. Plus, I know you and I are both awful at talking on the phone, so that never really works, but if you can make it through your husband being gone for a year… like 4 times, I can make it through you being gone a year and half just one more time. I just have to remind myself that soon enough you’ll be back and we’ll be having babies together and doing the rest of life together and that will be so much fun.
So if you miss my annoying cuddling right before bed or if you have trouble waking up at 4:45 am to go to the gym, just know I’m feeling the same way. You aren’t alone and it won’t last for long.
I love you Ash.
Your Little Sis
Originally published at lifeandlattes.com on September 1, 2016.