Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Born For Each Other

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"Our roots say we're sisters. Our hearts say we're friends"

My little sister is more than a person who has the same parents as me. She’s my number one confidant, my safety net, my security blanket, my built in best friend, my mini-me, my shoulder to cry on, my pick-me-up, my reason to strive to be a better person, my strength, a bit of my childhood that will never be lost, a golden thread to the meaning of life, my best listener, my Padawan.

My sister and I have been incredibly close for our entire lives. I had just turned two when she was born and I don’t ever remember a time where I wasn’t thrilled to have a baby sister. We had the most vivid imaginations I’ve ever seen in two kids. We would play “Barbie games” that lasted weeks, we’d sit under the counter in our old house and pretend we were witches, we’d go ride my horse to the end of the field and have a picnic under the tree and pretend we were the girls in “The Saddle Club”, we’d put on “plays” for our brother and our parents all the time…there was never a dull moment. Her and I shared a bedroom until I was 15-years-old, and for many years we shared a bed. We woke up together, played all day together, and fell asleep together. When one of us got sent to our room for time-out, it usually wasn’t long before the other one would follow…just to sit with the other while they cried.

Like any older sibling/younger sibling relationship…I’m allowed to pick on Tara and nobody else is. In elementary school, if somebody picked on Tara and I heard about it…it never happened again. In hindsight, it makes me laugh just because of the concept. But, I can’t tell you how many times Tara would tell me about kids (usually boys who were probably crushing on her) who were teasing her and then I’d have to go after them.  It’s not so funny thinking back to the time it happened in high school though. Tara had told me about a girl who was being disrespectful to her around the end of that school day and it took a lot of convincing on Tara’s end to keep me from going after this girl. My baby sister, no matter how old, will always be the person that I want to protect the most…until I have kids one day of course. She’s a grown woman now and fully capable of handling herself, but she’ll always be my little sister and I’ll always think that I need to take care of her.

Once we became teenagers, our fights got worse and more intense but our bond continued to grow even more. I remember being 16-years-old and being carried down into my bedroom by my ex-boyfriend after drinking too much at a Halloween party. I wasn’t left alone for a second that night. I was put in the bath tub, put on the toilet (humiliating), had my clothes changed from head to toe, nurtured, and tucked into bed. I remember somebody being there doing all these things for me but I don’t remember ever looking at the person’s face. I vaguely remember having my limbs moved around and hearing voices but that’s it. When I woke up, what was on the floor next to my bed? A glass of water, a pan in case I needed to throw up, and my 14-year-old sister curled up asleep. She had stayed next to me all night. Just like that night, I’ll never forget the time when my boyfriend and I surprised her. At this time she was living in a dorm
 across the state from me in Spokane and going to school at Gonzaga University. My boyfriend and I had planned a road trip around the state and I made it a requirement that we stop and visit my sister. I hadn’t seen her in months and I had coordinated the visit with her roommate at the time, making sure that Tara would be in the dorm when we got there and that it would be a total surprise. I remember walking through the door and Tara looked over at me. There was a window between the door I came in through and the room she was sitting in so she couldn’t tell it was me. It was funny because she as almost glaring trying to figure out who it was. Once she realized it was me, she started screaming and ran up to me and gave me the biggest hug. I’m such a softy, because I’m definitely tearing up while remembering that moment. I cried pretty damn hard. The second best part, after seeing her face when she realized it was me, was meeting the kids who lived in the dorm with her. I remember meeting one and I started talking and she said, “Oh my god oh my god! Ahhh! You guys sound exactly the same!” Naturally, I laughed. Then she freaked out even more. “OH MY GOD YOUR LAUGH IS JUST LIKE TARA’S!” It was priceless. I’ll admit, when I watch videos of Tara and I, sometimes it’s hard to tell who’s talking at certain times!

There have been a few really hard times since she moved away. I went from having her being in the same house as me every day, just a flight of stairs away when I needed her, to being hours away across the state. The distance was especially hard for me to deal with when she started experiencing things that I had already been through, and I wanted nothing more than to be there for her and to help guide her. Or just to hug her while she cried.

I haven’t always been the best older sibling or the best role model, but I hope that if anything I have helped my sister realize that life isn’t about fitting in because it’s better to stand out. I have always been “weird”, different and crazy. And I’m honestly pretty stoked that my little sister has turned out similarly. For many years I watched her struggle, like we all do, with finding herself and figuring out the kind of person she wanted to be. Now, looking at her, I see the most beautiful 19-year-old girl I could ever imagine.  She’s incredibly smart, strong, independent,  motivated, and drop dead gorgeous. She has opinions and uses her voice loudly to make them known, she stands up for herself and doesn’t take any shit. She has goals, she’s hilarious, she’s open minded, and she's talented. She’s unique and she’s educated.

I truly can't imagine getting through this crazy life without her by my side. She was born to be my sister and chose to be my friend.

"Together forever, never apart. Maybe in distance, but never in heart."

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