There's a saying that family knows you best. And a sibling knows you better, still.
I have a picture frame sitting on my printer. Heather gave it to me years ago, and one of the first pictures that it held was one of us at our cousin's wedding, in which I was the flower girl. I'm missing some teeth in my grin, and, honestly, at the age there was a lot more people mistaking is for two generations instead of one, but that's something we've always dealt with, regardless. (Meaning, you should see us when we take Mads out - people go cross-eyed trying to figure out how many generations are standing there, especially if they see me and Mads first and then Heather.)
Now, the picture that sits there is one of me and Heather on the grass of the High School lawn at graduation. We're sitting in the grass, side by side with me in my graduation robe and her in a black dress, red heels off and me borrowing her brown Target-brand Converse.
The inscription around the frame says this:
Sister is a sacred Companion, loyal and Loving, protective and Supportive. She is a Confidante, a keeper of secrets, a maker of Memories, a weaver of dreams. Near or far, she is Always there, in deed, in thought, in spirit. Sister is a very Best Friend.
My sister knows me probably better than I know myself, especially when it comes to realizing and helping achieve a dream. One of my dreams is to be a published author. So, in Heather's wanderings around the Internet and Blogging world, she comes across publishers, and sends me either the links through our IM window during the week when I'm between classes, or in e-mails with little blurbs like, Another one to add to pile over winter break.
For me, I shamelessly promote her blog whenever I can, whether on Twitter or whatnot, and, like last summer, I'll most likely watch Mads when Daryl has to go to work, before I have to work, and until somebody else gets home, so they can save on some daycare. Don't get me wrong, Mads' daycare is a great woman who loves kids, but if Mads can spend time at her own house, with her Aunt that she's not going to see for a 4 month stint (when I go to Wales next fall, and please don't ask me how I'm going to manage the distance from the family, especially my kid) then that's awesome. And honestly, I'll take any "Olly" time that I can get, just because I love that little munchkin.
I miss my family when I'm at college, even though I'm an hour away, but hot damn, I miss that little girl so much that I'm lucky it doesn't make me cry when I look at her picture.
I remember, one of the first times that I went home last fall, after I've been gone about two months or so, and I walked in the kitchen, and we just looked at each other. Now she tries to bowl me over, or goes wide-eyed and covers her mouth with her little hands.
Anyway....One of the best parts about having a sister is that....you have somebody. Unconditionally. Even on your worst days, when you hate the world and everything and everyone seems out to get you, you have your sibling. They'll make you smile, occasionally cry, but they're always going to be there for you. Even when your heart is breaking into a thousand little pieces, they're not going to say anything and fold you up and hold you tight because that's what you need. Siblings know exactly what you need without you having to say it. And they don't hesitate.
And Heather knows me. She knows, if I'm having a God-awful day, what to send me or text me to make me smile. She's the first one to like my status or throw a quote under it when I really need it, the first to comment (and usually the only commenter) on my blog posts to tell me that it'll be okay, I'll be home in only a few days, or that she snorted a banana out her nose because of Murphy and Me.
And she'll always give me a shove toward another publisher, even if it means I'll have another rejection on my hands because she won't let me quit.
For that, and for my sister, I am thankful.