All of our lives, I have always admired you. You are so smart. You never had an enemy. You worked so hard for everything you wanted.
Do you remember the night before you left to go to Spain? You and I went to Red Robin late at night and shared some appetizers. I remember I didn't really want to talk about why we were there, because the thought of you leaving for 3 months made me cry. I would miss you, and I was scared for you.
Watching my two kids interact, I am constantly going back to how things were when you and I were growing up. We got along really well. We looked out for each other. Remember how mom always used to tell us, "your friends will come and go, but your sister will always be there." I never forgot that then, and I still remind myself that now.
I remember when Ethan was born in 2004. You were the proudest Aunt in the world! You loved holding him, and you were constantly helping him learn by showing him educational websites and buying him books to help him see beyond his sheltered little life. My favorite two books you bought him were Ruby Bridges and Life Doesn't Frighten Me At All. Books I never even knew about until you bought them for him. I give you a lot of credit for how smart Ethan is today.
Remember Allison's birth? I loved having you there. It is a moment that is so precious to me. I think the process of giving birth is so miraculous and beautiful, I am so thankful you could be there for me. And Allison! I love the way you love my kids.
The night we left the hospital on September 20, 2010, the thought of living the rest of my life without my sister instilled a fear in me I had never felt before. It was like getting punched in the stomach. All of the air was out of me and I felt like I was in a heavy, heavy fog.
You don't go through life anticipating something is going to happen like it did to you. So when it DOES happen, the event alone is shocking. But for me, it was the thought of not having you to talk to. Not having you be able to broaden my children's horizons by exposing them to so many different ways of life. Not having you there for when our parents are older and we need to make decisions together for them. I needed you. I needed you more than I ever knew.
Looking back on that day, I never would have imagined that you would make such a miraculous recovery. Sure, there are some pieces that are not completely back yet, but the parts that make you YOU are there, and I am so thankful for that.
I can't do life without you. You are my hero. My big sister. I admired you then, and I admire you even more now.
Nothing can separate us. We will forever be sisters. We will go through this life together. Nothing could ever change that.
I love you so much.