We have always been more different than we are alike. I was loud, you were much less loud. I pretend to be brave, you actually are brave*. I am bossy, you are relaxed. Most people think of me as a novelty, people know you are true and steadfast.
I can't imagine what it was like to grow up with a big sister at all, let alone one that was always trying to be the loudest, prettiest, and most popular. I imagine I was more obnoxious to you than to anyone else that knew me. You could have tried to quiet my megaphone mouth, or make fun of my usually ridiculous ensembles (let's not even talk about that poodle skirt) or ignored my attempts at trying to make people like me. But instead, you've always celebrated all the things that make me, me. Even though sometimes they are so different from what makes you, you.
A couple years ago, you randomly told me you had written a letter to the Lip Smackers people asking them if they would 'make a special lip gloss for your older sister because she loved it so much'. You told me that you tried to explain to them that it was the only lip gloss that I used and if they could make a special one just for me, it would make us both so happy. In any case, despite your valiant effort, they didn't make a special lip gloss. When you were telling me this, you were laughing about the memory, but the thing is even though you must have written that when you were in elementary school, I had never known of it until now; until we're grown. I think about you writing that letter occasionally and smile and shake my head. I'm actually still wearing Lip Smackers and you might be the only person on the planet that would even notice.
Sometimes I wonder how many other times you've done something like that for me. How you've cheered on my little 'tabitha flame.' And how many times I haven't even known.
Kayla, thank you for celebrating me. Thank you for telling all your coworkers to read your big sister's blog (hi, Kayla's coworkers!). Thank you for almost crying every time you Facetime with my kids because you love them so bad. Thank you for letting my 'tabitha flame' shine all through our lives together. Thank you for loving me just as I am...and even sometimes despite who I am.
And since I can't say it better than Dierks Bentley has already said, Ima have to borrow some of his lyrics, "though it sometimes means we don't get along. Cause same, no we're not the same. But that's what makes us strong."
your biggest fan,
*for readers that don't know my sister, she's a National Guard vet, has jumped out of an airplane, bungee jumped, is set to do the Tough Mudder this month, and chopped most of her hair off for Locks of Love in high school when it was way more cool to have long blonde hair than not...just to name a few examples of my sister's bravery.
Next week's thank YOU! Thursday: Someone who listens.