i don't remember the day you were born, yet almost every single childhood memory i share with you. 20 months apart, yet inseparable from the beginning, you were a force to be reckoned with from day one. with a heart larger than most, you felt everything more intensely than the rest of us...passionate and fierce about the things that mattered to you, risking everything to support whatever cause you felt deserved your attention.
you are my first memory, my first "love"...rarely can i stop the tears when i think back to that moment...i had spent weeks with grandma not knowing exactly why, only that i couldn't see mom and i had no idea where any of you were. i remember the long drive down from the farm to the city...eventually walking the halls of children's mercy, excited to see mom unaware of what i would really see. there you both were...mom holding you...you in only a diaper with so many little circles attached to you; the monitors that had watched every one of your stats as they fought to keep you alive all those weeks.
a few more weeks brought yet another car ride...the one that would bring me home, to you. you were still sick, weak, tired...they put you in bed and told me to leave you alone..."let her rest" mom and grandma told me...but, i couldn't. i wanted nothing more than to be close to you...to simply touch you. your tiny fingers were extended through the slats in the crib, at just the right height for me to hold them...so that's what i did. for how long i don't remember. thinking back, it feels like forever, but i'm sure it was just a few minutes...but, that's how moments of impact, moments of absolute importance, moments that change you forever...that's how they feel. i remember knowing in that moment, as i stood there next to you; wishing you were well, vowing then and there to protect you always...that you were mine, that i would love you forever and never want you to hurt again.
i wish i could say that i have been able to keep that promise, but some things are bigger than even a sister's love. you are an amazing woman...still fierce and passionate; full of emotion, willing to accept differences yet always ready to fight for what you believe in. you were my first best friend, paving the way for a lifetime of memories. my mind flips through them like a photo album, stopping to gaze upon the ones that stand out the most. some make me laugh, some make me cry, some make me crazy, and some make me wish we could just go back.
so, happy 33rd birthday to my first little sister, my first friend...may today mark the beginning of an amazing year. may your eyes be open to everything it offers and your heart ready to accept every blessing it is certain to hold. i love you, weisy!