40 reasons ’cause, well, you’re 40

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Dear Les,

You’re 40.  40.  40.  (I can’t type with echoing effect, but that was meant to echo in your head as it settled in your brain that yes, indeed, you are 40).

And to think we used to dissolve in a puddle of disbelieving giggles when the show Thirtysomething would come on.  We’d look at each other and exclaim, “30!  That’s so old!”  Well, dear sister, according to that logic, you must be ancient.september-2016-012_5_1

Except that you’re totally not.  Except maybe in the wise advice you give me because sometimes your advice seems to channel a very wise old being inside of you because surely someone as young as you could not possibly be so wise!  (Yet you are.)september-2016-017_1_1

Other than that (and the few gray hairs I lovingly pointed out to you a few weeks ago), you don’t seem a day over 16 (or 20 or 25 or whatever your magic age was) cause you’re still my sister.  And I still adore you.  And I still want to be just like you when I grow up.september-2016-040_8_1

I remember being little and thinking that if there was one thing in the world I wanted to be it was a big sister.  Not so much because I’d really thought it through and thought about what all that might entail.  Like having a shadow follow me around day and night.  Or having someone beg to borrow my clothes or fix my hair.  Or having someone in my life that I’d have to drive around til she could get her own license.  I definitely didn’t think about having to share a phone or shampoo with a younger person.  I surely didn’t think about having someone younger than me make silly mistakes and having to try to save her from herself on many a near occasion.   And good gracious, I never considered the prospect of having a younger sibling only for it to turn out to be (gasp) a boy!  Nope, none of those things crossed my mind.  I just wanted to be a big sister because you made the job look so cool.september-2016-018_2_1

You shared your toys.  You shared your friends.  You shared the phone.  You shared your car.  You shared advice.  You shared your life.  You invited me in and held me close.  For all those years.  For all these years.september-2016-019_3_1

Our relationship evolved over time.  We were always friends.  Best friends.  There’s hardly a memory in my mind that doesn’t involve you.  But life changes and sometimes life changes people.  Yet our relationship, though changed, has only gotten better.september-2016-039_7_1

You got married.  And still you kept me close.september-2016-079_32_1

You had a baby and you lost a baby.  And you held me closer still.  You let me share in your grief.  Your pain was my pain.  Your emotions have always been my emotions.september-2016-051_5_1

I got married and you stood beside me.  You sang joy when I sang joy.september-2016-049_3_1

I had a baby and you were there, welcoming him into the world, sharing my moment.wait-whats-that-you-say-little-one_1_1

Then we journeyed the path of pregnancy together.  What joy to have you beside me, wailing about morning sickness together, giggling over round belly bumps together, delighting to feel life inside of ourselves together.  We brought babies into this world 7 weeks apart and we journey that trail together every day.  We share our triumphs, our struggles, our joys, our frustrations.  There is no one I’d rather share it with.img_3560_1_1

But I still haven’t shared with you my 40 reasons.  My 40 reasons why I LOVE the chance to celebrate YOU on this special day…

  1.  You rock the words “big sister”.august-2016-075_1_1
  2. You listen.september-2016-039_7_1
  3. You have incredible hair.img_2437_1_1
  4. You make delicious cupcakes.september-2016-078_31_1
  5. You always know just the right thing to say.september-2016-077_30_1
  6. You treat my kids as if they’re your own.september-2016-076_29_1
  7. You ask me how my day has been and really want to know.september-2016-072_25_1
  8. You drove an electric blue car and looked cute doing it.september-2016-075_28_1
  9. You get me.september-2016-058_12_1
  10. You always invited me to tag along with you and your friends.september-2016-074_27_1
  11. You watched Anne of Green Gables with me millions of times but told me our life wasn’t complete unless we read the books, too (you were right).september-2016-068_21_1
  12. You shared your Barbie house with the elevator with me.september-2016-071_24_1
  13. You logically convinced me that I needed to push the wagon while you sat all comfy so you could steer.september-2016-070_23_1
  14. You invited me to stay at your apartment time after time after time during my college years.september-2016-067_20_1
  15. You made wedding favors with me without a single complaint.september-2016-065_19_1
  16. You respect my fears.september-2016-064_18_1
  17. You encouraged me to put my arms up when we went down the big hills on the roller coasters.september-2016-063_17_1
  18. You never told on me when I ate more mini-candy bars out of Grandma’s candy bar stash than I was supposed to.september-2016-062_16_1
  19. You convinced me (or did I convince you?) that duct taping my bra cups to myself for prom was a good idea (which, in theory, it was…nothing popped out that night; the removal, however, well, that was a painful story).  And you were kind enough to help me rip it off after.september-2016-061_15_1
  20. You call me just to hear my voice (you know I do the same thing, too, right?)september-2016-060_14_1
  21. You support me no matter what insane idea I come up with (or what dorky outfit I wear).september-2016-073_26_1
  22. You didn’t hold a grudge for long when I shut the trunk on your head (I promise it was an accident…like a natural reflex).september-2016-057_11_1
  23. You shared Marley with me.september-2016-055_9_1
  24. You visit us even though the humidity makes you want to scream.september-2016-056_10_1
  25. You aren’t afraid to get out in the Texas heat and work up a sweat while we get the kids out in nature.september-2016-054_8_1
  26. You are willing to drive 4 hours just to surprise my kid on his birthday.september-2016-053_7_1
  27. You like my cooking.september-2016-052_6_1
  28. You knew me before I was wife, before I was mother.  That makes it feel a bit like we knew each other in another lifetime.september-2016-048_2_1
  29. You are privy to my secrets which essentially means you are my secret keeper.september-2016-047_1_1
  30. You actually chose to hang out with me when you could have been doing way more exciting things.  All throughout your life.september-2016-045_12_1
  31. You were the shoulder I cried on.  Whether it was when I fell off my bike or fell in a trash can (oh wait, I think I only cried then because we laughed so hard) or got my heart broken, you were there.  To listen.  To hug me.  To be my friend.september-2016-041_9_1
  32. You strapped me to the back of your bike in the days before you had a car so that I could tag along with you (now that’s love).september-2016-044_11_1
  33. You snuggled with me when I was little and we were at Grandma’s and I was scared.july-2016-045_1_1
  34. You climbed in my crib with me when I was a baby to comfort me when I cried.september-2016-013_6_1
  35. You infuse my life with hope, reason, and gratitude when I feel down.img_3750_1_1
  36. You are incredibly fashionable (and extremely forgiving that I am not).september-2016-042_10_1
  37. You encourage me.img_1736_1_1
  38. You talk reason when I talk crazy.October 2010 053_1_1
  39. You like pink.  And purple.  And boots.september-2016-080_33_1
  40. You make me want to be a better person.Austin July and August 2014 400_1

I’d like to think that your life was empty for the 4 years before I arrived, but the truth is, my life would be empty without a sister like you…”I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers.”  Philemon 1:4

I love you,

Stace

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2 thoughts on “40 reasons ’cause, well, you’re 40

  1. That is absolutely beautiful. What a lovely trip down memory lane and what a wonderful, beautiful tribute to your sister. Oh yes, The 40 year old. I still can’t believe it! You are a great, wonderful little sister. Funny but I always wanted to be a big sister too. So much in fact that I would pray (when I was really little) that my dolls would come to life. Hmm! Didn’t work by the way.

    I am very proud of both of my daughters.
    Love,
    Mom

  2. I am sorry but I have one more thing to add and that is that I didn’t think about it at the time I read this bur I have always adored my sister, Barb. Anyone who knows me knows that but I never thought of it in the terms that you talked about today. I always wanted to be “just like my sister Barb”. I was so glad that when she was alive and i would call my parents they would think it was Barb or the fact that we looked a lot alike in ways and that we acted alike always. But mostly I just wanted to be her because I thought that she was the best sister a person could have and I wanted to be just like her. She was my idol. There were 8 years between us but it didn’t matter and I remember her telling me to quit copying her and quit trying to comfort her when she was down but I just couldn’t do it. We did get to talk about it before we died and I am so glad that we did. She understood and loved me more for it.
    I guess that some things never change do they? They go from one generation to the next. At least that is one way to look at it.
    My goodness, I think that your blog makes me thing and write more than I have ever thought about sharing.
    I love you, dearest daughter of mine.

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