Saturday, December 6, 2014

Always There: A Big Sister

I don't have a first memory of my big sister Brittany. I guess older siblings are things that don't come into our lives one day, but rather  things that have always been there, like trees or the moon. We aren't cognizant of their existence the moment we come to earth, but they have always been there nonetheless. And there is something wildly comforting about that. We don't have any memories without trees, and we cannot remember a time when there was no moon; we likewise cannot conceive of a world without our older siblings.

Yesterday Brittany turned thirty. Three years my senior, Brittany was always there at my side teaching, cajoling, playing, and taddling. She was always running around using annoyingly big words and organizing things that kids don't usually organize. I looked up to her in a way only a younger brother could understand. We were fiercely competitive and at times could not understand how stupid and immature the other could be. Brittany was the ring leader of organized fun in our house for years. She was the captain and my little sister and I were her obedient soldiers. Though many years have passed since we played "house" or pretended we were in college, or put on "circus performances" for our parents, her leadership and voice have remained with me. The things she says even until this day ring with a curious authority that I assumed would dissipate over the years.

But what has always been unconditional love has turned into something even more special. It is easy to love our siblings. Even if they are raging imbeciles, you share blood, and you share experiences you will never have with another. But sometimes is is difficult to like your siblings. They tell your parents when you do moronic things, they hog attention, and they know all your secrets. With Brittany however, I was blessed. I always saw her as a sister and a friend, and as the years trudged on and life got real, my big sister was always there. Our relationship became much more than brother and sister, much more than just two friends; we became two people entwined through eternal pasts and endless futures, with the understanding that one would always, always be there for the other. Maybe this sounds like a cavalcade of tired cliches, but my big sister is more important to me than I can adequately express.

I could write on for pages about what she has done for me, and how she has molded important years of my life, but suffice it to say, ole Brit is selfless and beautiful, a beacon of what an older sibling is and should be.

Don't even get me started on how much I love my younger sister Danielle. But hers is a different story with the exact same ending, alas, a story for another day.  


"Be nice to your siblings, they're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future." 

~Baz Luhrmann