Today is my little sister’s 21st birthday! She’s all grown up, a junior in college, contracted to the US Army, dating a great guy… but she’ll always be my baby sister. I’ll always remember growing up with her, both the good and the bad.
But what I’ve learned in 21 years with Fallon can’t be summed up in a post like this. Because my sister is, in many ways, my roll model. She’s my hero.
You may be thinking, “Why is your YOUNGER sister your hero?”
I’m answering: “Because she is so wise. She picks me up when I can’t go on. She understands so many things that I don’t. She’ll give me advice when I need it, a gentle nudge when I need that, or even a somewhat violent shove to get me going.”
When I lived in a foreign country, she texted with me to keep my spirits up. Nothing was too small to talk to her about. She’d get excited when I was, and cheer me up when I wasn’t.
When I resigned to move back to the US, she gave me the four words of wisdom I clung to. She said, “You’re not quitting. You’re just moving on.” I can’t tell you how many times I repeated that to myself over the next month of craziness. I’m just moving on. I’m just moving on.
She calls me for help on her homework, letting me be the big sister and teacher once again. She gives me a chance to remember why I loved engineering in the first place. We laugh and we joke all the way through Materials or Dynamics homework, and I’m so happy she loves what I love. One more thing for us to share.
My sister has the Gift of Discernment. She knows exactly what to say to lift you as high as you’ve ever been. She also knows exactly what buttons to push to make you as angry as you’ve ever been. But the thing about my sister? She forgives completely. So growing up, we fought like two Tazmanian Devils… and were playing together ten minutes later. She showed me how to forgive and forget better than words ever could.
She’s outgoing and social, unafraid. She’s strong and brave, courageous. She’s loving and kind, compassionate. She’s wild and loud, bold. She’s so many things I’ve always wanted to be; and so many of them, she taught me. When I am scared, I channel my sister, and suddenly, I am brave once again. When I am socially awkward, I channel my sister, and I am talkative once again.
So today, I celebrate someone I would be lost without. Someone who is so dear to my heart. Someone who is twenty-one.
So here’s to Fallon. My sister. My hero.