We are as different as can be. She is the sunny side of life to my dark side of the moon; a babbling stream to my dark, still waters; the eagle opposite my fish.
She is people smart. Her compassion towards others and interest in them abounds. She often asks questions that make me cringe. And people find her endearing for it. And so do I.
I am book smart - the kid who would take the toaster apart to see how it works and successfully put it back together. She once looked at me in wonder and asked, "How do you know all the stuff you know?"
She values appearances; I value substance. She can tell you that one leg of your pants is 1/4 inch shorter 20 paces out. Every picture and curtain in her home is hung to level. Every picture in my home is crooked - I blame it on earthquakes. My hair is curly, impossible to comb so I let it do what it likes. I rarely think about whether my clothes match. I'm certain I embarrass her.
I sometimes wonder why she spent 22 years hoping for a baby sister, especially one that turned out to be me. Surely, she must have had it a lot easier before I came along.
She is God in the details to my big picture. She makes every little thing perfect while I look for ways to make it easy and functional.
In high school, she was pretty and popular, the latest trend. She was Twiggy. I was none of that.
I march to the beat of my own weird drummer. She is forever marching to the beat of someone else's; her time rarely her own and yet she never complains.
She loves wholly and completely, unquestioning. I question. I hold at arm's length.
Her smile is quick and ready.
Mine is not; my anger and frustration are easily evident.
Yet, we are alike in so many ways. We are both stubborn and pig-headed and unyielding when we are certain we are right. We both love to laugh and have made one another giggle to the point of peeing our pants.
We are both way too generous; me with my time; her with her money. She would give you her last dollar and ask if you needed any change. Oh, but her real gift is ... gifting. She is forever searching for a gift for someone. She remembers every birthday, every special occaision, every anniversary of loss. If shopping for a perfect gift were an Olympic sport, she'd take the gold every time by a mile.
I used to think I was the brave one - venturing 3000 miles from home. New state, new friends, new everything. Now, I think she is far braver for staying put. Running away, seeking adventure is easy. To do the same thing, to deal with a fate you know, is hard.
Once, when I told her how my best friend was the first person that I felt loved me unconditionally, she apologized for not loving me the way I needed. That moment made me realize how much she does love me and that it is unconditional. I just couldn't see it when I was younger.
She is a warrior goddess, battling cancer down twice. Each time, I have seen her go deep within herself and find strength enough to sustain all of us. We all rally around her, take care of her, feed her, make her laugh. But it is she who supports us. It is she who wins war after war, battle after battle. It is she who is my hero.
Happy Birthday Sis! I love you more than you will ever know!