On this day 29 years ago, I gained a best friend I should have treated better during our younger days.
Because she is the greatest thing that ever happened to the 90s.
My sister’s first car was one of the coolest rides I wasn’t able to drive (because I will likely never be able to master the art of driving a standard). It was a black Jeep Wrangler that we affectionately called the BK (Big Killa). I loved when we went places together in that car. Riding in the BK made a person feel like a Hollywood star (or maybe it just made us feel that way—whatever).
I will never forget one afternoon, my sister and I were cruising around our town with the top down and the sun beating down on us. We were belting our hearts out—most likely to the stellar Michelle Branch—when out of nowhere, it started pouring. I’m not talking an exaggeration of a little downfall. I’m talking POURING. The sun was still out, and the top was still down. Needless to say, we were soaked. As a girl who is pretty shallow about her hair, this would normally not be an ideal situation for me. But, to be honest, in this instance I really didn’t care much—because of my sister. She was laughing, and I started laughing. It only rained for a couple of minutes, and then we were just two girls who were sopping wet and driving around town singing. And so sopping.
My sister is one of those people who makes the rain more enjoyable.
The Runt is 29 today. If you had asked me 29 years ago just how much that little girl would have impacted my life, my 2-year-old self would simply have no idea. I never would have admitted this when we were little kids, but she has always been my best friend. Even when we fought like crazy at times, I never could stay mad at her. She just makes you feel better simply by being around her.
Back in February, I had been thinking about something for a while, so I texted my sister to see if she had ever thought about getting a tattoo. The next thing I knew, the following Sunday we were on our way to a tattoo place and getting inked. I got the word “forever,” and she got “always,” both in Greek. I don’t care how cheesy it sounds, but we’re sisters forever and always, always and forever. Plus, it was one more special thing we did together, and it’s kind of permanent, so it was a pretty solid sisterly bonding activity.
There have been tattoos; there have been arguments; there has been laughter; there has been crying; there has been silliness; there have been deep discussions; there has been sitting on the front porch with golf clubs when we were home alone and thought we heard something in the closet; there have been pep talks; and there’s still so much more to come.
I think back to that Jeep story a lot and smile every single time. There have been quite a few rain storms in my life, and my sister has been there for every single one. She was the one who left work in the middle of the day (it’s harder to do than you might think when you’re a teacher) and rushed to the hospital to be with me when I had kidney stones earlier this year. She’s always the one to tell me guys are stupid (or other mean adjectives) when they don’t like me. She was the one to run in with me and cross the finish line with me at my second marathon when I was in an obvious amount of pain. She is the one I call when I am on the verge of tears and need my sister to tell me it’s OK to cry.
I know you might not have a sister. You might not have a brother. You might not be close with your siblings. But I hope that you have someone in your life who makes the rain storms better. I don’t believe we were meant to be hermits and go through life alone. We have people around us for a reason. Hold on to the gems—the ones who know you and truly care about you.
They are the ones who are forever and always.