To put it simply, you are my best friend. But I tell you that every single day.
You are the why to my story, the lifeline I hold on to when I need hope or love. You were born into a household that didn’t show love in conventional ways but with you, everything was different. With you, ‘I love you’ is told, the hugs are given, and the kisses are placed. You were special. You are special. I recall perfectly how restless you’d be every night, never letting mom sleep. I would wake up each morning, rock you in my arms, and watch you quickly fall fast asleep. I’d then throw on my middle school uniform and hurry to catch my school bus. My arms became a safe place for you and yours slowly became mine. Whenever things got hard, one look into those big green eyes and everything was alright.
It would always be alright with you by my side.
Today you turn 12 and to date, the only way you can happily fall asleep is near me. This is starting to change as you’re finding your independence. You don’t fail to remind me you’re a “big girl now”. I don’t know where time goes, but yes my sweet girl, you are growing up more incredibly every day. We have a bond tighter than any sisterhood I know. A bond most can’t understand. Since the day you were born, you taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. I look at you and see a mini version of me, with big piercing eyes staring at me with admiration and endless possibilities.
Everything we conquer, it’s together.
You are my why. Why I give, why I’m compassionate, why I’m strong, why I care – YOU are why. Every goal I have has always been in devotion to both you and our brother.
I look into your eyes and see love. A kindness that only you hold. You have taught me the power of forgiveness and apologies, of happiness and hurt. You have taught me more than any adult I have ever known. You are a living and breathing miracle, a light to my life that I never knew possible. Against all odds, you made it. You are making it. You can sense a person’s emotions from a mile away with your heart of gold. Please, never lose that because the world needs more hearts like yours. You can memorize any lyrics to any song after one listen. You can beat anyone at a dual in Just Dance. You can tell who sings what song and the colour of that singer’s hair. You’ll probably even know their age. You can fully read the time now. You got your grip on basic math. You could piece together words enough to read small sentences. I see your frustration when you can’t figure it out, but you are trying and you are succeeding more than anyone ever thought possible. But I knew.
I knew that my princess is a fighter and will forever keep fighting. I knew that your special needs don’t define you. I will hold your hand every step of the way, not because you need me to, but much rather that I need to. At some point, some day, you’ll be able to read this. To understand this if you can’t just yet. You’ll be able to read how much you matter. You matter and I hope you always know that.
I know I matter to you too, that I am your best friend just the same. I know you constantly say I’m the best because I buy you presents but I know that even if I had nothing left to give, you would love me nonetheless. But also know, even if I had one penny left and you needed it, you would have it.
I am not going to pretend that the world is perfect. Things will be tough sometimes. That’s life. Friends will come and go. The ones who stay, those are the ones that deserve your friendship. People are not always going to be nice. But many people will. Those are the people to surround yourself with. That is the type of person you should continuously amount to be. The one that always spreads love, everywhere you go. Sprinkle your charismatic smile. Keep telling people that you love them and that they are beautiful. Stay genuine. This world is lacking genuine souls like yours.
Stay confident. I know circumstances will arise when you may not feel your best but my beautiful dear sister, we all have our days. I do quite often. I know that you have many odds stacked against you but you are kind and beautiful and smart. Stay confident and proud of who you are. Be comfortable in your own skin, always. Take your differences as unique aesthetic changes. You were born a little different and it’s okay. Embrace it, sweet girl. Embrace all your differences. It took me years to be comfy in my own skin and I don’t have that kind of time to convince anyone else of my worth. I’m beautiful and so are you.
You’ll date someone at some point who may break your heart. Guess what? Your heart will be okay again. It may break a couple times. I will be there to devour ice cream and have a dance party whenever you need me. Please never let boys be mean to you. Ignore that lie that when boys are mean to you they like you. But don’t turn off completely from any relationships and all the boys because of a few bad seeds. Love is beautiful and I only learned that recently. I know you think so too. Never stop believing in love. The idea of it. But above all, don’t wait around for a boy either. Ever. You are important and whole all on your own. Remember that.
The qualities you carry – your genuine care for people, the way you enjoy the presence of others, how you never get annoyed by other people – these are qualities I wish I had. Your patience leaves me in awe. You have a memory of events, people, and places as if everything happened just the day before. You may not remember words on paper but you remember that time we went to a waterpark nine years ago and a large walking Spongebob Squarepants frightened you. You got over your fear of people in big costumes shortly after but I will always be here to hold your hand with any fear that comes your way. Truly, I have many more fears than you do. I don’t like admitting it but I want you to see full transparency through your big sister. You don’t worry about the mean people in the world, roller coasters don’t scare you, and you see the good in everything. The naivete is bliss and I hope that even when you learn that things are not always going to be rainbows and unicorns, you remain fearless. Fearless with all your passions, your love, and your hope. Our fear in common? Pitch black darkness. Even when we are both afraid in a dark room, the comfort of one another’s voices will somehow brighten it. My biggest fear? You not doing well. When your doctor gives us disappointing news. When I see your struggle and know I can’t do anything to help you. That no one can. My biggest fear is you having to face this world without me. Me having to face it without you. I can fool the world, pretend I am okay in the worst of times, but you? You will never be fooled. You will know. And you will sit there, holding my hand until you feel me truly being okay.
Please, never let go of my hand in the darkness.
When I walk down the aisle one day, you will be beside me as my maid of honour. And that day, when it comes, will be bittersweet. I will no longer be your roomie. I’ll be starting a new and different chapter of my life filled with new milestones with a man that you love as much as I do. You may not know now, but the moment I fell in love was the moment I got your approval. Your stamp of incredible instincts on a person’s internal character was the moment I looked at him, convinced that this was my person. Thanks to you. All those milestones, you will be a part of. You will have your own milestones and I will be a part of all of those just the same. We will always be sisters, best friends, partners in crime, and each other’s greatest sources of comfort. Remember that, when I’m no longer sleeping in the same room as you, I’m never far away.
Really and truly, life will be what you make it.
It’s okay to fail. I fail often. I also get back at it. One failure doesn’t mean a lifetime of it. Keep trying. I know things come harder for you than they would another child. That is what will make all of your successes so much sweeter. Always try, and always believe in yourself.
I believe in you.
May you always remain tough like a girl. Smart, assertive, independent, strong. Like your favourite character, Supergirl. Your idol. My heart does a happy dance knowing that you look up to supergirl. That your favourite hero is a woman. Fictional maybe. But you know that girls can and I hold such pride knowing I raised you to admire and love strong, powerful women.
My dear sister, you are my mirror shining back at me with a world of endless possibilities.
I can only hope that as you grow older, you’ll always know my love for you. Not only in the excessive amount of ways I spoil you, which will never end, but in all other aspects as well. That you’ll grow up to be your own kind of girl boss and find so much courage and empowerment in it.
I hope that one day, you’ll look at me and find the same inspiration in me that I find in you.
You will always make it. And for you, I will never stop.
Before I end my rambles, just know to keep your head up forever babe. Stay true to you and believe in yourself above all. You now believe that everything is beautiful. Keep believing that. Keep smiling. Because if you allow yourself to always see it, there is so much beauty in the world to smile about and you are one of them.
Your big sister, Julie