Dear Older Sibling,
I was watching a show today and it reminded me of you. I remember when you lived at home, and how much fun we had. It was so weird having you in our lives after periodically seeing you at graduations and special occasions.
I remember your smile, and how you’d always buy me gifts on my birthday and at Christmas. It was such a special touch for me, because my family didn’t believe in gift giving at the time, and I never experienced that beauty of unwrapping a gift. You were the fun sibling, almost a parent. Babysitting, and persuasion.
I remember being mischievous, kicking the bottom of the sofa-bed and waking you up. Boy were you pissed!! I thought it was hilarious, but you weren’t amused. Preteens don’t understand, and I understand now…
I recall embarrassing you when you were dating, singing “__ and __ sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G…” every time you were walking or talking to someone of the opposite sex. Then sprinting away when you’d yell and chase and swear you’d tell on me to Mom and Dad.
Hair days, when you’d do your hair, I’d do mine, and Mom would do her hair. We had hair days that stretched into the night. Just talking and plaiting.
I remember days when you’d be moody, when you’d snap at me when I’d try to talk. I’d wonder what I’d done wrong. I’d be sorry, it’d make me sad. I didn’t know if it was me, but I’d assume I’d done something.
I thought it was me.
I remember when you took us to the Museum, how happy it made me to hang out. You rented movies, popped popcorn, and let me stay over at your new place when you moved out. It is one of my precious memories.
I remember how much you didn’t understand. And how much I didn’t understand you.
I remember when you stood by at a time I thought we’d stick together. Betrayal, oily in my throat when my friend-turned-enemy (FTE) shared a truth that hurt, gave me proof that even you weren’t supporting me. You stood with FTE, and that hurt me.
I never told you that FTE destroyed the gifts you gave me. It was hard to get past the fact that you’d never see what I saw. That I’d have to share you with FTE and accept that you are you’re your own person. A hard lesson to learn.
You are the reason why I wasn’t an only child. You saved my best friend’s life, my sibling breathes because you were there to save that life. I don’t know if I thanked you, but I do in my thoughts every day. Because that sibling saved my life, so I feel like you saved me too. Indirectly, you saved me, because you rescued my savior.
Despite everything, family is family. You are dear to me, more dear than our sporadic phone calls would evidence.
I sacrifice the ghosts of the past, because you are more important to me than any of the negative thoughts of the moment. I treasure you, and there is nothing you could do that would destroy my love for you.
Family. You are my family.
I love you.