Once upon a time I was an only child. When I turned nine, that all changed. There was this other person that invaded my parent’s space and mine. It was hard not to ignore her because even though I was nine years old, I knew she was cute. I would overhear my mom bragging to all of her friends about how perfect she looked on the day she was born.

I realized that she wasn’t just another person visiting, but she was here to stay. She was my sister. For years, because of our age difference, I didn’t know what to do with this relationship. I wasn’t young enough to play with her and she wasn’t old enough to understand  what my life was like. So because we were both trying to figure out what our relationship should be, we were in constant transition. Usually this involved me trying to keep her out of my business as I would slam the door and say, “Get out of my room. I need some privacy.” She would interrupt me when I was talking on the phone, secretly borrow some of my Debbie Gibson vests, and annoy me until I couldn’t take it anymore.

As a teenager, I knew that I had a sister, but I didn’t realize the true sanctity of this relationship.

As we both grew older, I learned that the nine year age difference was just a number. My sister is one of my best friends. When I have happy news or sad news or no news, I call her. I tell her details in my life that I know that other people wouldn’t care about it. We yell at each other. We cry together. We share memories of our father.We talk about all of those things that haven’t been touched by time.I love my sister, even more than she will ever know. She has given me strength when I couldn’t muster any of my own, she has offered me encouragement when others doubted, and she has always been there, without question.

It is a relationship that out of comfort, I sometimes take for granted. I am reminded that I shouldn’t when I hear stories of siblings who don’t get along or aren’t particularly close. I am lucky, because I have a sister, a guaranteed safety net.

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What is your relationship with your sibling? Is it a relationship that you cherish? Why or why not?

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