To my sister on her 16th birthday
Sixteen years is such a short time. Right now, it doesn’t seem like it because it’s all you’ve known, but I was exactly that age when you were born and I could probably, if I choose to, remember a time that there wasn’t a you in my world, but I don’t. Since there was a you, the way I think about life has changed and all of that in the context of having a you somewhere in it. Because of the you in my life, I am more inclined to view the world in a way that offers more potential than ever and more calamity than ever and in such, I have expanded the horizons of my ever.
Lately, sister, you and I have been talking and it occurs to me that we are going to have differences. It has always been me for you and you for me and our age difference has never bothered either of us because we love each other like cupcakes love icing and sprinkles. Tonight, you mentioned something to me and asked me to promise, prior to telling me, not to get mad at you and to not love you less.
Here’s a secret: I’ve been mad at you many times and they’ve only made me love you more.
Sisters are unlike any other love that I have experienced. I don’t know if this is true for others, Sister, but I know this is true for me. It’s not like the love I have for my son, though it is not less in love. It’s not like any love I have experienced with men in life, though it is not less in love. It’s not like the love I have for our mother. It is all encompassing, truly unconditional love that makes me want to be around you all the time but allow you to be free to grow up as an individual. It makes me want to tell you secrets, want to hear yours, and want to have you as a daily part of my life. When I pray, amongst the many things I am grateful for is the amazing, miracle of a sister who arrived in my life just in time to save me from some of the mistakes I could have made and who showed me love when I needed it the most.
Sister, never doubt that you are loved. Always, always, always loved. Never loved less because we disagree. Never loved less because I am profoundly thankful of the good things that you receive. I cannot imagine a world in which I exist that you do not, even though I’ve been there. I love you, Sister. Happy birthday.