Before I left, you asked me, “Do you think we’d be friends if we weren’t related? I mean, would I strike to you as someone you’d choose to befriend?” A simple “No” rolled off my tongue, not because your personality repels me, but because I found it difficult to imagine
how you’d impress yourselves upon others when they meet you for the first time. I guess I’ve simply known you for too long to be able to imagine such things. Oh dearest, I know too much about you to view you from such a superficial level.
We never got a proper introduction – in fact, I don’t remember anything from the day we got introduced to each other. The only detail I’ve been told about that day was its date – the 9th day of July, in the year 1997.
Mama informed me that I was originally supposed to meet you on the 1st of July, 8 days prior to the 9th, but I was told that you found much comfort at your then abode (I can relate, I did find it comfortable myself!), so you pretty much refused to come
out and meet me. I suppose I must have been devastated at your ‘refusal’ to meet me for Papa did tell me how excited I was prior to our initial meeting. I suppose 17 months of being the sole receiver of attention from everyone started to overwhelm me a little too much.
You were worth the wait though, for you truly were a bundle of joy when you first made your presence known in our household. Everyone loved you from the beginning – I thought it must’ve been the way you giggled whenever someone caressed you or the way you looked so at peace with this world whenever slumber took over your consciousness. Or maybe it was something else they found endearing about, but point is that you were and still are absolutely lovable. You were clearly a little bigger than others your age, bone-wise of course, not fat-wise. I suppose the Caucasian genes had a bigger hand in forming your genome than it had for mine, and I have to admit that this has been a cause of my jealousy at certain points of our growing years.
I found myself looking through old photos of us together very recently, and there was a particular picture that stood out to me. You were laid down on my lap, joyfully squirming about, and I had bent myself slightly forward to get a clearer view of my new friend. The Italian poet, Arrigo Boito, coined a quote that reads, “When I saw you, I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew.” This quote is meant for lovers, but the picture I speak of perfectly exemplifies the very essence of these words.
I loved you and you knew.
I love how pictures capture everything from a single moment – the feelings and emotions that emanate through the expressions, the actions displayed, the connections established between individuals, the stage of physical growth, und so weiter. Everything could change but that moment captured in the still never will. Similarly,everything could change for the both of us – our paths in life may begin to head towards different directions, but feelings I felt at that moment never will.
I will always love you the way any big sister should.
I know the big EIGHTEEN frazzles your nerves, but I hope you’d understand that adulthood doesn’t actually exist. You can be childlike at the age of 30 if that floats your boat. This does not mean childish and immature! This just means to be youthful at heart, to be spontaneous, to dream as if you have hundreds of years ahead of you, and to live as if you’d die the day after. Um es genauer zu sagen, adulthood is simply another term for assuming different roles and responsibilities. Nicht weniger und nicht mehr! You’ve handled responsibilities all your life, so ‘adulthood’ will resemble how you’ve lived your life so far – the only difference being the type of responsibilities that come your way. You’re a seasoned ‘responsibility handler’ 😉 Don’t worry too much! If anything, I’ve got your back. Always have and always will.
This is the first time I’m not by your side for your birthday, but I hope you know that memories of you sprinkle my daily thoughts. You’re someone who leaves sparkles in people’s lives, and you’ve definitely done so in mine – mostly yellow, because yellow represents happiness and you make me happy – very very happy.
I watched the 2015 version of Disney’s Cinderella, and if there’s one thing I took away from the beautiful tale, it’s that one should always be kind and have courage. I thought it’d be meaningful to leave this piece of advice with you. You’ll be an amazing eighteen-year-old, because you already have been an amazing person all your life. Never doubt the brilliance in yourself, for self-doubt kills more dreams than failures ever would.
I miss you dearly, little sis!! Happy birthday!!