Dear Sisters L & K, I hope you get the chance to see this.
I have so many friends that are incredibly close to their siblings and enjoy holidays together, spending time together and generally being happy together. We three are not always quite so close. I don’t think we’ve got out of that pre-teen-teen age gap really – quite literally for the youngest of the three of us, as she’s still in her teenage years. We argue, we fight, we upset each other, more so with L. The trouble is we are all so busy these days that rather than lift each other up we seem to fight for each others attention. We should do more together, we should love each other a little bit more.
Despite our differences there is one thing I know for certain and that is even after every, single argument we do make up, we do say sorry. I have said some terrible, regretful and hurtful things in the past which have been said out of frustration and anger more than malice. At the end of the day, when it’s just the three of us left I know we won’t be fighting over inheritance and letting money get in the way of our lives like I have seen in so many other families. That has literally torn people apart, and I know that won’t happen to us.
So let me take a few minutes to say that I am proud to be the older sibling of you both.
L – My sister is an aspiring graphic designer and in her second year at University. Last year she did a project for a company and won with her amazing skills, this year she has been awarded first place for her calendar at the National Calendar Awards which is an incredible accomplishment. She has so many innovative, creative thought processes and designs. It took a really long time for her to find her niche but she did and her talent is incredible. To me, this is the sister that I was so, so excited to meet at aged 4 and a half because I was going to have a little sister to dress up with, play Barbies with, pretend to be my doll…all the things big sisters want in a little sister, but she wasn’t quite like that. I think because of how different we are I haven’t really known how to speak to you. You loved football, playing outside, running and I liked reading, writing and playing The Sims…well, that hasn’t really changed and we all enjoy it these days.
There’s a part of me that will always see you as the girl that cracked her head open on the stairs but got back up again and played on a slide with a massive bandage covering your eye whilst I worried your brain would fall out, I failed to protect you then. The girl that quite literally got back up again despite being in pain. The girl that didn’t look where she was going and so she fell in-between a boat and a river almost being squished as the boat came in to the side. I spotted you, but I didn’t do anything about it, I didn’t help you then. The girl that hated her curl in her fringe but refused to wear her hair up or get it cut which I found silly because if you don’t like something, you change it, and I didn’t understand why you wouldn’t.
Every single accident or frustration you have had you have just got back up again, and recovered, and pressed on. I wish I was as resilient as that emotionally. But every time you have done something silly, or hurt yourself, all I have ever thought is that’s my baby sister, how can I save her? You annoy me because I don’t think you understand the true power an individual can have and therefore I don’t think you understand how enormous your potential really is. You are kind, laidback, compassionate and very giving – things that over the years my pessimism has made me very suspicious of. We are quite literally polar opposites in almost every way imaginable but that doesn’t mean I don’t love you. That doesn’t mean I’m not proud of what you do, who you are or what you accomplish. It just means my standards and expectations for your success are higher than anyone else’s. I will push you because I know how amazing you are, how much you have to give and I want you to flourish. Out of all of this what I hope you understand most is that I love you. I love you because you are my sister, you always will be, obviously, and because I know that you will do amazing things with the talents you have.
K – We don’t fight as much and I honestly think that’s because there’s around nine years between us. We are also a lot more similar. We are emotionally driven, sensitive creatures that like to hide away rather than shine. There are points in our lives that we don’t talk about that have happened to us both at almost the same points in our lives which is just heart breaking. I saw a cute, funny, cheeky little girl climb into herself and do what I did, comfort eat, and become insecure and uncomfortable in my own skin. I know you feel like this too, I know we suffer the same anxieties, discomforts and confidence issues but you have a real chance at your fingertips to be the person you want to be. You are a beautiful person and you’re incredibly mature and insightful for an 18 year old. You don’t spend your weekends getting drunk or acting silly, every time I see you you’re studying hard and putting your education first. The exact thing I should have done when I was your age. So I am proud of you for putting your future first.
You don’t need me to tell you how proud I am of what you’ve been through and how you’ve come out the other side of everything. I know those footsteps and how hard they are to take. I know those inner anxieties you have and I know that in time, as you grow, they’ll become easier to shut down and you wont live your life the same way as you do right now.
To both of my little sisters, I am proud of you, I love you, and you will always be welcome.