Anyone who knows me, will immediately know how much I adore my sister. Friends, relatives, ex-boyfriends, my husband, my cleaner, my boss, that random guy who sits diagonally across me at work on Wednesdays – I think his name might be Steve or Steven, I’m not exactly sure. If I’m being completely honest (which I am of course), my sister is one of my favourite topics. I gush, I rave, I sing praises. Once I start, sometimes it’s hard to shut me up. Of course there are times I gripe. Usually when she’s not paying me enough attention (like when she takes two days to reply a whatsapp message!).
Yes, it’s true I can be a little bit defensive or protective about my sister. Like the time Mrs. M at school mentioned that my sister might have an attitude problem – I launched into my “she’s just so misunderstood” (which by the way, she IS so misunderstood) mode. Or the time when my husband and my sister didn’t exactly see eye to eye and I would be extremely upset to the extent of bawling my eyes out going “why can’t you just get along with her???”.
Let’s face it, no one’s perfect. Least of all my sister. But to me, she is imperfectly perfect. She is the sum of all the parts that I am not. I love her to bits and I see how wonderful she is and how wonderful she can be. We have had our differences and although they are mostly few and far between, I can’t say we settle our differences well – it usually ends badly, me in an emotional mess and my sister becomes sullen and aloof.
But it is all entirely worth it. Those years growing up with her, letting her have the front seat or the biggest watermelon slice was small penance to pay – she was (and still is) deathly loyal. She led us on great adventures, she was always braver and pushed more boundaries. Her cheekiness, her sense of humour, her ‘old’ soul, her intolerance for bullshit and incompetence – these gave my teenage and early adult years so much perspective. She questioned my choice of boyfriends, she assessed my friends constantly, she rolled her eyes at my ‘teenage’ antics. Most importantly, she was always as steady as a rock – when I was down, when I was out, she was there for me. She made the pain of losing my father easier to bear. Without her, I wouldn’t have had a reason to be strong.
As the years go by, although our circumstances shift, I believe our bond remains the same and has grown even stronger. Today, on her birthday, I want to tell her that I admire her courage and resilience. I want to tell her that she’s inherited my father’s iron will. I want to assure her that in the end, it’ll all be alright. I want her to know that’s it’s okay to feel scared or to not be in control. I want her to know in her heart that I am here for her no matter what life throws her way.
Also, I want her to know that she is still as irritating as she was when she was 5. Happy birthday baby sister! I love you forever and ever!!