An Open Letter to My Sister
November 01, 2006


We were young, I was seven or eight and you four or five, we exited an elevator at a hotel. I had a terrible irrational feeling that you were left behind in the elevator, either traveling to another floor or caught horribly between the doors. A horrific image at such a young age. A moment of panic ran through my body and I jerked around to see where you were. You were safely behind me and had quietly exited the elevator. Mom and Dad witnessed the event and knew then how much I cared for you. To this day I still do. Despite asking them to return you to the hospital, when you were first born. I wanted that spotlight to remain mine. I had no room for your chubby cheeks, impish smile or buster brown bangs. However, it has been anything but that, as we have grown up. It has been all elevator and no returns. We never argue, fight or bicker. Our relationship is special, unique and cherished by all. We are truly lucky. Sometime around college we discussed the off chance of us residing in the same city. You mentioned us living together in that instance, and I said absolutely not. At the time you grew extremely offended that I would not want you as a roommate and that I immediately dismissed such a thought. Baby girl, it was never out of disdain for you. I never wanted to ruin our wonderful relationship. I never wanted to spoil our wildly romantic and perfect relationship. Us as roommates may have put a crashing halt to the 25 years of perfection that has marked our roles as big sister little sister. I cherish that and wanted nothing to mar it.

You are my baby sister. Forever will you hold that role. Forever will I consider you in that light. But for a longtime, you have been a lot more than that. You are a beautiful girl and a strong woman. That is what I admire most about you; your strength and beauty. Physically you possess both. Your thick brown locks, dark brown M&M eyes and olive colored freckle spackled skin. You are lean, muscular, with a tiny waist, taught belly and broad shoulders. The men love you. They really do, I think it is also that booty. At least that is where the trouble starts. But you are strong. Yoga, running, climbing and kayaking. It is more then that. You have strength within you. Taking risks in geography. Yes, that geography and that geography too. A re-location three times zones away to a town no one knew you. A choice in a career that renders a “huh” and a dazed look. You threw yourself into it, all your strength and beauty, and came out shining. It has always been that way; your brilliance is stunning and your attributes leave you shining. Sun shining down on your glorious life. The great sun you worship and adore. Devoting your life to good times in the great outdoors. Your love for such is reflected in all you do, paid or otherwise. I know that this gloriousness is deserved (you know no limit to hard work and devotion) and I know it will continue to follow you in all your life’s adventures.

I just hope you know all this too. We all are doubters, racked with questions. We all face loneliness and feelings of being alone. We spend weekends where we interact with the TV, the man at Starbucks, ourselves and in your case nature. How we live those days is what is within your reach. Knowing that you can reach for the stars, and that in your life, they are an arm’s length reach away, means you know how to make it through these times. It is about growing up and about learning about you. Seeing all those good things and capitalizing on them. Making them, owning them and not letting them ruin you. Otherwise, the sun, moon, stars, and the glory that you are ensconced with, are dimmed a little bit. The shine is not as bright. That is not the baby sister we know. There is too much strength and beauty there. I can't see that happen.

Which is what we don’t want trampled. Not by yourself and not by others. Don’t let anyone else steal it from you. Don’t let the loneliness take over it and don’t let another individual rub it away. They are your traits, your characteristics and you own them. No one can take them from you, certainly not without your permission. That is where the problem lies; when you let them and give them a permission slip to take it. Too easily we give them away. To boyfriends and men. You let them in, share these magic qualities, and allow them to bask in our sunlight. When they leave they take it all with them. Not only do you allow them to get so wrapped up in your warmth, but you let them walk away it; leaving you cold. I know you are stronger then that. You have the strength of a ten ton truck and the smarts of noble prize winner. It is their powers that appear to leave you defenseless. Letting you walk in there open armed and walk out of there a ragged mess. Take the strength and beauty you possess, keep it in a jar, and let them smell it, taste it and see it. Just leave some for yourself. So when it ends, you have some sealed away with a lid. That is yours to go back to; to remember your own powers and rebuild your stash. That way it is not all consuming in the moment and it is not earth shattering at the end. You are too strong, too beautiful and too smart for it to be any other way.

It takes time to learn these things and it is often done the hard way. But I need you to know I am there for you when it does come crashing down. Even with the distance. When the world rubs you the wrong way. Boyfriends, girlfriends, bosses and parents. Good, bad and all the grey in between. Know I am proud and in awe of you. Your strength and beauty are inspiring and amazing. You are my baby sister, my be-bop, and for that I am lucky. I would never dream of returning you.

Love - A

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