Just to preface this blog post, I’d like to say that I am LITERALLY questioning my own sanity at this point. I’m surrounded by clothes and shoes and laundry and dishes and all the stuffing from Shelby’s dog that she’s been humping. I missed class this morning, have to write an essay by this evening and pack for our trip to SF. Remember that one post, where I went off about how crazy I get before traveling. This is it. We’re at ground zero, its go time.
This blog post is my attempt at centering myself, by thinking about someone else. So here goes…
You’re graduating this weekend. I’d like to start out by saying, we all knew you would be the one who followed the rules and expectations of life. You have done everything that a young woman should do. You’ve had relationships, you’ve rebelled, you’ve grown, you’ve changed, you’ve found friends, you’ve done your job well. From the outside it might seem like you are just a typical girl. That you are one of many in the crowd of life. That your life is ordinary. I’d like to challenge that assertion with some insight of my own.
When you were born, mom says that I called you “MY” baby.
You are still my baby.
We haven’t had the “typical” sister-sister relationship.
We aren’t like best friends who hang out every single day, and talk on the phone for hours on end about boys and school and friends. No. Our relationship is different. It can’t be categorized, it can’t be put into a box where people can observe and say “Oh, how sweet, sisters are so wonderful”.
You were my shadow, my watcher, the little girl I thought was too young and couldn’t relate to. You were my tag-along, the blond baby following me around and bugging me. The two and a half year difference felt more like ten.
We contrast each other, like black and white. Like shy and outspoken. Like day and night. We have been on different paths since before we were even created.
You follow the rules, you listen quietly, you respect privacy and seek your own sacred understanding of the world. I disobey constantly, talk over others, cross boundaries and expect the world to give me the understanding that I desire.
Through the years we have tried, at all the wrong times, to reach out to each other. To apologize for the wrongs we have done (like that one time I pushed you down in front of your friends) and rekindle some kind of common ground. It’s been impossible. Our personalities clash like fire and ice. When I’m ready to accept you, you are ready to branch out on your own. When you are ready to accept me, I am ready to hit the gas and fly out of town. We’ve missed our connection, too many times.
I feel so guilty sometimes, that I was a terrible example of a human being in the past. In hindsight, I knew you were watching my every move. The nights I spent smoking on the roof, the boys I snuck over, the lies I told. You knew them all, and yet.. I never thought of how that would affect you. The way I spoke to mom, the anger I held in my heart against the world for so long. I was spewing venom, and you were watching me the entire time. How could I have tarnished your innocent little heart without thinking about what that would do to you?
This is where I have to interject with my argument against your seemingly “ordinary” personality.
I am so grateful that you are who you are. That YOU are stronger than me. That YOU are steadfast and honest in your ways. That YOU never took after me. You have the ability to go within yourself, reflect and decide who you want to be. You have not let the negativity and hurt, turn you into a mean and angry person.
Instead, you found friends. You forged relationships. You gained an entire sisterhood.
You loved our mother when I couldn’t.
You keep the peace, you try your hardest. You excel in things that I could only dream of. You laugh out loud, you don’t judge, you smile at people instead of glare. You are kind. You listen before you speak, you internalize before you decide and in this way, you are nothing like me. For that, I know you are not ordinary.
I am so proud of you. You have made it through some of the most challenging years of your life, and you are now venturing on to a new chapter. I am so grateful that you are my sister, and that the years we spent bickering and kicking each other around are over. You get me, better than anyone else. Dare I say, even better than Louie. Though we may be different in some ways, I know that when I look at your face, I see my own. When I hear your voice, I hear my own. I want nothing but happiness for you, for your life to continue to be full of love and life and laughter. I want you to love my children the way our aunts loved us. I want to watch you walk down the aisle on your wedding day with tears in my eyes, so happy that you found someone who accepts you and celebrates you the way you deserve to be celebrated. I want to see you flourish in your career, dance like you own the stage and become whatever you want to become, because I know you are capable of ANYTHING you set your mind to.
Congratulations just doesn’t cut it. I want to shout it from the rooftops and jump on the bed chanting your praises. I couldn’t miss this weekend of celebrating you for anything. Even though I’ll be totally drugged up, filled with Imoduim and Xanax, drooling on Louie’s shoulder, I will get on that plane tomorrow morning. Because I owe it to you, after years of torture, to give you what you truly deserve… a real sister. The sister that fits into a box that people can look at and say, “Wow, those two girls are the perfect example of sisterly love (even though one seems to be drenched in sweat and won’t stop asking where the nearest bathroom is)”.
I love you.. so, so, so much,
Holly the Hammerhead Hudson