I have a friend. One of those friends that knows and understands you better than you know and understand yourself. One of those friends that would and has dropped whatever was pressing in her own life for whatever was more pressing in yours. One of those friends that makes you laugh a belly laugh with one simple silly expression or look. One of those friends that you can say just about anything to because she will still love you anyway and rarely judges you. One of those friends that gets you so tickled with one stupid word that brings back one ridiculous memory that you laugh until you have to run to the bathroom. One of those friends that just sits there while you cry and says nothing because she knows there is nothing to say. Yeah, one of those friends.
My friend just so happens to be my sister. And today, just so happens to be her birthday.
My friend has been there for me my entire life. She loaned me money in my teen years to pay a lawyer to fix a speeding ticket after I was too foolish with my own money and my parents froze my account. I don’t even need to mention that she didn’t tell my parents about the speeding ticket. She was the moral support I needed during my 20’s to keep me grounded in what was important in the scheme of life. She has always put family first and self second. She flew to California during one of Brian’s surgeries earlier in our marriage to be by my side and help me through it all. When our children arrived, she took vacation from her job and stayed up for the middle of the night feedings taking care of my boys. She has tolerated hateful and insensitive remarks coming from my own mouth and forgiven me and moved on. She took the time and money to come visit us with her family when we were living in Canada. When we were in California in 2007 for Brian’s most significant and difficult surgery, she helped my mom with the boys as soon as Mom arrived back in the states with them – to try to give my boys more love and stability in the most confusing time of their lives. This past year in what has been perhaps one of the most trying times of our lives, she and her family have visited us in Peoria at least 7 times, realizing unselfishly that it is difficult for us to always be the ones to travel. When we announce we will be coming their way, she clears their calendar. She is always there when I need her and when I simply want her.
Mindi is kind. She is compassionate. She works hard. She is a fantastic mother. She is loyal. She is innocent, yet wise. She is a devoted wife. She is real. She is silly. She is organized and efficient. She plans ahead. She is a dedicated employee. She is fun. She thinks things through. She is giving and thoughtful.
The connection I feel with Mindi is difficult to describe, but unparalleled. We are different in many ways, such as my tendency to procrastinate and her tendency to pack 5 days in advance for a weekend getaway; and her love and my hate of reality TV and black licorice. However, we are alike in numerous ways and we simply “GET” each other. I get her desire to just “get it done” when she is doing a project and sometimes regretting it when finished with a shady job due to the rush. I get her when she calls me three times a day to tell me really quickly about something she saw on a commercial. I get her when she opts for the practical over the luxurious every time. I get her when she watches Vacation or Sixteen Candles or The Other Sister OVER AND OVER AND OVER again. I get her love for Buffalo Wild Wings, Boulevard Wheat, Cherry Sours and Pink Wintergreen Mints. I get her and she gets me.
I long to live in the same city as she does. I wish beyond wishes I could meet her for lunch or watch her kids or run an errand for her while she is working. I yearn to meet her for a cup of coffee or for her honest opinion when I am dress shopping. I miss her daily and when we go a couple days without talking, I start to feel as though something is wrong in my life – something is missing. When I hear her voice on the phone, even if we have little to nothing to say, I feel something comfortable, relaxed and refreshing.
Mindi recently wrote me a thank you card claiming she strives to be half the sister I am to her. Ironically, I feel like such an inadequate sister compared to her. Yes, I love her, but I do not DO for her as she does for me. That is Mindi. She DOES. I am words. She is actions. Her actions speak for her character in every aspect of her life. She is truly noble.
I am honored to be her sister.
I am blessed to be her sister.
I love you, Mindi Jane!