My Darling Baby Sister,
I had this whole other post written since like August and I’ve completely deleted it. I knew you’d ask to read it if I didn’t, and I think it will take away from the importance of what I’m about to tell you…
You are one of my biggest blessings.
Three lines in and I’m crying, so I’d grab some Kleenex now, ya sap, you’ll probably need it.
We’ve talked within the last few days, about what I was doing on my 26th birthday and I remembered it being right before I moved back to Illinois. We talked about the mindset changes that happen in your mid-twenties, and even if we’re not talking specifics, I know you’re evaluating your life, what it is, what or who’s in it, and making plans for your future.
You’re young in my eyes, but I know you probably feel like it’s been a long 26 years.
This has given you strength. This has given you the grace to overcome obstacles and prepared you for battles you haven’t faced yet. This doesn’t make you weak, it doesn’t make you damaged, it doesn’t mean you’re defective. It means you’re getting ready.
You’re so beautiful and a rare person in the world, it’s almost like we’re the lucky ones to even be a part of it.
You know how much I hate when Becky is right, but she’s always said something happens in your mid-twenties, she said it again the other night too and it’s simply true. That in your twenties you hit the point where you come to terms with who you’re supposed to be in comparison of who you thought you’d be.
I know that you’re at that critical fork in the road where you are sizing up your life and weighing everything that means something to you.
It’s like cleaning out an attic.
You’re deciding what baggage to let go of and move on from, but you’re also deciding what to hold on to for those moments when the world is telling you that you can’t do something and you can open up that one bag that holds all the things you’ve overcome already.
It’s shitty, it makes you doubt everything you’ve ever thought or believed, and makes you question WHY you’ve thought or believed those things. It happens again around 30… and again around 35…. Fuck, I do this every year, but what I’m saying is my mid-twenties were the biggest!
I told you the other night… I imparted some 26-year-old “wisdomous” words on you, and I’ll share them with you again because they keep replaying over and over in my head as I think of you.
Leave what is behind you, behind you. For there are reasons it didn’t make it to the point of being beside you!
I’ve google’d this because I don’t remember writing it in my journal, and it’s dated September 2007, when I myself was 26. I still don’t believe that I came up with this, but whatever… it’s so poignant for the moment in so many ways.
Losing Mom, our childhood, the chaos we’ve known from a young age, the issues at home and away from it, none of those things broke you. Regardless of what tricks your mind plays on you or what you see in a reflection in the mirror.
Those things/people that tried to break you only ended up forging you into the fearless woman you have become.
I am so proud of you, Stefanie, you have no idea. I cannot tell you enough how thankful I am to have you in my life. I know a lot of times you say you don’t know what you’d do without me, but I cannot even begin to tell you how much I don’t know what I’d do without you.
For as thankful as I am for the bond you and I have, I am even more thankful for the champion that my kids have as well. That they know without a doubt you are there for them too. I’m so lucky to know that my daughters have you as their aunt, how great you are will all the nieces and nephews. How lucky they are to have you in their lives.
I wish I would have learned earlier in life to live it on my own terms the way you have always done. Even besides that, you’ve taught me more than I think you know. You’ve come to me to be wisdomous and to teach you, we joke about me being wise, but it’s you that I continue to learn from.
In twenty-six years you’ve been my everything for the majority of it. We’ve fought, we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve bickered, and laughed some more.
You helped me believe in myself when no one else would. You’ve never judged me, no dream was too big, too crazy, too weird. If I wanted it, you were my champion in all of it.
If I wanted to ride rolling chairs and believe that the Twilight Zone song was actually the Jaws song, then so be it, it was! You would fight anyone who said otherwise!
If I wanted to adopt every homeless kitten and become a crazy cat lady, you were all for it!
If I wanted to write books and turn every arch-nemesis I’ve ever had into a villain in them, you help me plot every grisly fictional scene of their deaths!
If I want to be completely smitten with a totally hot British guy that plays one of the best Marvel villains ever…. Okay fine, that’s where you draw the line, but still. HAHA!
I’ve believed many times that I’ve failed the people in my life, and you’ve always been there building me back up, convincing me of all I’m capable of, even if we disagree on what makes a villain totally dreamy.
So when I say you’re my blessing, I mean in it every way possible, because even when we disagree, I know I don’t ever have to worry about losing your acceptance of me, of who I am, and I love you for that more than you can possibly ever know, and only hope to be able to give you that same acceptance back.
I know I get over-bearing with you, a little too motherly but that’s just because I love you so much. I know both you and I could take a lot in life, we could weather a lot of storms and come out stronger on the other side, but I know that it’s only possible because I know you will be there for me.
I’ve had the blessing of watching the little girl you were grow into the very capable, smart, fearless woman you are today. Even when you think that no one is noticing, I know just how much you’ve overcome. I know the mountains you’ve climbed, I know the depths your mind has probably taken you to convince you to not even try anymore, that giving up would be so much easier, but I am so proud of you for the wonderfully bold woman you’ve become.
I love you for exactly who you are.
I’m reminded very much tonight of one of our only big fights, probably the only true fight we’ve ever really had. It was a fight I didn’t think we’d ever be able to overcome, my stubbornness was going to win, and I was going to stand my ground. I remember lecturing the shit out of you to the point of being hoarse. Because I was older and I knew better!
I remember making it to my car and turning on the radio and promptly bursting into tears. I didn’t even make it out of the drive before I’d called you and told you to look up the song that I’d heard on the radio. Still makes me cry to this day, but it reminds me every time I hear it, just how special the bond is that we have, and that even at our lowest, I would always be there for you, and I knew you would always be there for me…
It kind of became like our un-official sister song and still makes me cry when I hear it.
Well I have rambled, and cried enough, but there is still so much more,so much I wish I even had the words to tell you. Imagine that, me, the writer, can’t find the words… Go figure!
I will stop now and simply say this…
To my baby sister who is all grown up now (at least in age, I said nothing about maturity hahaha), I wish you a very Happy Birthday. May this day be everything you want it to be, but even if it’s not, know that you are dearly loved and adored.
I know you may not need me anymore, but I’m so very glad to have you in my life. To have someone to appreciate all things FRIENDS, Supernatural, and 90’s Music, or to understand all the things I either don’t say or am incapable of saying correctly due to my issuries. Life would be so very dull in comparison to the ray of sarcastic charm you bring to my life every day.
I LOVE YOU!!!!!!