Growing up, I assumed my siblings and I would always live near one another. We grew up just a short distance away from grandparents and various cousins, aunts and uncles, so it never occurred to me that as adults, we would end up in different parts of the country. Now, living over 2,000 miles away from my sister, I am more appreciative than ever of our relationship and what she means to me.
She loves unconditionally. Whether it is her dogs, her family, her friends or her neighbors, that girl knows how to love wholeheartedly and without reservation. No matter what is going on in her own life, she always takes the time to take care of other people. Although I’m the oldest, and Alison is a full 10 years younger than me, in many ways I have felt that I was looking up to her and learning from her, and in particular I strive to learn from her example of loving others.
She gets me. She really knows me better than anyone. We can watch a movie marathon all day long and not run out of movies we will mutually enjoy. When I just feel like I need to wallow in my frustration or have a pity party, she knows when not to just say, “It’s going to be OK.” When we are together, we can talk a million miles a minute over each others sentences and still understand what we are communicating. She’s the only person I can tell absolutely anything whatsoever to.
She’s never afraid to say what she thinks. When we were kids, I think that people found her wise-beyond-her-years opinions to be cute but a bit unnerving. Even then, Alison always said what she thought with such conviction. She’s never been one to say what she thinks others want to hear rather than what she actually believes.
She’s a great mom. I always knew Alison would be an amazing mom. Just recently, she and her husband adopted a six year old daughter from Uganda. Witnessing how naturally and wonderfully she is able to mother her new daughter has been incredible. She has never been one to take the easy way rather than the right way, and already I see her willing to make the “tough” decisions that are in the best interests of her child no matter what. To see the three of them together as a family makes me prouder than I can ever describe.
She can make me laugh until I cry. When we are together, we are likely to laugh to the point of hysterics at some point. Any little thing can set us off into a spiral of silliness as if we were still young girls, laughing until tears stream down both of our faces and we can’t get coherent sentences out. I’m sure it’s pretty annoying to others who happen to be around us, but for us, it is joy, pure and simple.