we live in a little house in montgomery. we play in the backyard, dressing up the dogs in clothes, cooking "soup" made from wild onions that grow in the backyard.
we close the hallway door and make our side of the house a big play area. she gets in the hamper and we play post office.
years later, we move to georgia. we know no one. we do countless puzzles on the new hardwood floors.
sixteen months later, we move again. we spend six months having to share a room for the first time in a tiny apartment, and don't speak to each other after the first one.
i graduate high school. go off to college. come home to find that she has helped herself to stuff that wouldn't fit in my dorm room. she calls to tell me she got her drivers license, and i cry. she is growing up.
i graduate from college. get married. she is my maid of honor.
i move away. lose touch with everyone, including myself. i can't come to her college graduation. i cry on the phone while listening to them announce her name as she crosses to stage to accept her degree.
i move back. i visit her apartment. we giggle and reconnect.
i fall apart.
she rides with my father on saturdays to visit me at the creek. she sends me letters, telling me i am beautiful and strong.
she is my baby sister. all grown up.
she dutifully plays maid of honor one last time, this time with an engagement ring on her hand and a smile on her heart.
aside from my parents, she has been my biggest cheerleader through life.
i get to walk down the aisle again on saturday. this time, as her matron of honor. i tell myself i won't cry, but i know i will. seeing her in her bridal gown has already brought me to tears in the salon.
i wish her and jacob all the happiness in the world.
maybe, one day, we'll both have little girls who can dress up their dogs and make onion soup together.