Dearest Little Sister,
Because of you I am not who I would have been. Yes, I would have known what it is to be a daughter, a friend, a lover, a cousin, an aunt, and yes, even a sister – but I would not have known the fierce fierce love that only comes with the territory of being a Big Sister to you, Little Sister.
Maybe I could experience something of this fierce protective love were I to have my own children – but who knows if I ever will have children, and even then I would not with them share the same bond I have with you.
Of you I feel protective, but with you I share something too – a slice of the same experiential pie that no one else in the world has or will ever get to taste. We grew up in the same house, rode bikes through the same streets, attended the same schools and went to the same parties and family gatherings. We drove in the same car, sang along to the same songs, delighted in the outrageously silly and reveled in the unnecessarily dramatic.
You and I alone know what it was like to be in that same house growing up, when it transformed into a war zone in later years. You and I know how it felt to hold out as the last bastions of what, at the time, felt like a way of life crumbling around us as everyone else grew up and moved on. Only you and I understand what these words signify, at this precise moment.
Had you never come along, I would be so less than I am, Little Sister. Not only would I have missed the instigation to be a stronger, more mature self in order to protect and be a role model to you, but I also would have missed a comrade-in-arms through some of the most formative years in my life. I would never have known what it’s like to be looked up to, to be counted on, to be cherished and inspired by one so close to my heart.
Much has changed throughout the years, but one thing has not, and never will: I love my Little Sister like I love no one else. Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better, but -because I knew you, I have been changed.
Love forever and always – Your Grateful Big Sister