The Truest Sisterhood

It’s been growing in my chest ever since that October night I heard my parents hustling and bustling out of the house 17 years ago. It’s been spreading to every inch of my body since I first laid eyes on her and held her in my skinny, five-year-old arms. It’s evolved since I shared a room with her crib and watched her crawl her way out every night. It’s continued to flourish through sisterly fights, arguments and bickering. It blooms more and more with every life conversation, serious talk and piece of advice I give her.

There is nothing in this world that tops the unconditional love that I have for my baby sister.

Leaving my sister to go to school was the hardest part about my college transition. As I was easing into life at a university, she was walking into high school for the first time. I missed the most crucial years of her life thus far, but I think that was the most amazing thing for our relationship. Every conversation we had when I returned for a visit became that much more important. Being home with her instead of out with my friends shifted to the top of my list of priorities. I tried to give her the keys to life and that meant that I needed to find them.

She is a huge part of the reason why I am the way I am today. I gave her advice about being true to herself, being honest and being transparent. We constantly talked about how to love ourselves, how to start working on ourselves and how to accept who we are. I held her hand and told her how she could reach the stars. I laid next to her and reminded her of the greatness inside of her that she couldn’t see. I encouraged her to keep going. I looked her in her eyes, every single time, and told her that she was never alone.

That meant I needed to practice what I preached. That meant I needed to be the proof. That meant I needed to be the example.

It hasn’t always been easy, but I’m always reminded that I’m not alone either. I’ve got her.

 

The day I got my degree with accolades I could have never fathomed for myself four years ago, I thanked her. She has always been the fight I needed to go above and beyond even my wildest dreams. Now, it’s her time. In two weeks, my baby sister is going off to college. The hardest part about that is the fact that she has to figure life out on her own …

and I have to let her.

She isn’t just my baby sister anymore, she’s a self-aware young woman who is more than capable of finding her way through life—without holding my hand. I know that our relationship will shift as she lets go of my grip to see the world for herself. It’ll probably be harder for me than it’ll be for her but I will always be right there next to her.

The same way she’s been there for me.