I know you aren’t blood. We didn’t grow up with the same mom and dad. We didn’t share clothes or childhood secrets…but we do share my brother and for that I am forever thankful.
When the two of you started dating, I didn’t know I needed another friend, but I made a best one. Thank you for letting me be your much older, third wheel and for keeping me in a constant fit of giggles. As our number of road-trips and repertoire of inside jokes grew, so did our love for each other. I admired you deeply. It was almost like you were the older one, as I tried to follow in your constant, considerate footsteps. You, who never misses a birthday or a beat. You perfectly planned my bachelorette party. You tenderly delivered your maid of honor speech and you never wavered in your commitment to our friendship. It isn’t just me by the way, I notice how you greet everyone you know with heart. You, my younger, darling sister-in-law, somehow have managed to weave maturity into simultaneous silliness. I have always been so enamored by your grace and I’ve never taken for granted our fun. And just like that, one crazy night in Massachusetts, with a waiter who was Susan Sarandon’s brother, we nicknamed ourselves Thelma and Louise.
As we grew, good times morphed. I went from third wheel, to getting married and eventually we had children. Our wild nights shape shifted to family events and our laughter always remained.
…until it didn’t. The laughter stopped. I answered your phone call just hours after Judah was born. You being you, stole a second away from your demanding job to see how I was doing. ….and I told you “we think he has Down syndrome.” From that moment on, you did everything right. Thank you for that.
Thank you for not holding it all together when I said “we think he has Down syndrome.” Thank you for just the right amount of tears. Thank you for never saying “I’m sorry.” Thank you for acceptance without one million questions. Thank you for not saying “it will all be fine” because you knew me and you knew I wasn’t. Thank you for sharing those difficult moments with me, quietly, elegantly, and in solidarity with me. Your expert amount of sadness saved me you know? If you, my hero, could share in it, then perhaps my sorrow was justified. I was allowed to be it and you held no judgement.
As we rolled home from the hospital, you continued to save me on a daily basis. Thank you for all the check-ins. Thank you for calling Judah beautiful and for capturing the beauty you helped me see with your phone. Thank you for taking off work to help me wrap Christmas presents when the spirit would have otherwise escaped me. Thank you for blow drying my hair for me when the pain was a thousand jellyfish stings. Thank you for the satchel full of little hair ties which actually led me to write this post. The other day I saw this brilliant little pouch tucked deeply in the back of my bathroom drawer. It was filled with my nieces little pony holders and when I opened it, I opened the floodgates. Emotions and memories became as fresh as cut daisies. Keeping my unkempt hair out of my eyes was such a small gesture but it kept me all together just the same. You were full of small gestures that kept me all together then: The way you raced to the rescue when Judah was sick and took Calvin as if he was your own son. The way you took him to urgent care because he didn’t seem right to you and how you gave him his nebulizer treatments when he was diagnosed with pneumonia. The way you put the mask on his beloved stuffed Rudolph to ease his apprehension and even the way you took initiative and cut his hair when it was getting in his goopy eyes. Then the way you took him to get his hair professionally fixed after you gave him the “Julie Andrews.” The way you came to see Judah in the hospital and again shed the appropriate amount of tears. The ones I needed to see. The ones that told me this is hard and that I was allowed to have a moment. The ones that accompanied your hug as you uttered “I can’t imagine.” Thank you for being my shoulder even when you couldn’t imagine Down syndrome and RSV and pain that was swirling around me.
Thank you for being there with me when I returned from the hospital to find out my dog was dying; A dog that you came to meet the second I brought him home 8 years earlier. Thank you for going right along with the crazy as I spent hundreds of dollars on herbs and supplements an thank you for helping me concoct the disgusting, smelling serum I thought just might just save my puppy.
Thank you for rescuing me over and over again. I don’t know that I ever really let you know just how much it mattered. And now two years later we are back. We are all laughs and jokes and girlie giggles again…but we are so much more. I will never forget what you did for me. We are in it for the long haul. We are here for inside jokes and we are here in times of anguish. We are friends, we are family, and we are sisters. I love you!!!