She was, still is, and will always be my best friend and also my first teacher to give me the hacks to living a better life.
My life as a kid was amazing, I mean, with my father working two shifts a day at the factory and my mother busting herself at the salon, it was challenging for them but they made it look like it was nothing. My parents never made me feel any less than the other kids in the school, oh wait, they never made "us" feel less. "Us," you ask? I mean my sister and me.
I was the youngest member in the house and my family never let me doubt it even for a second. It has not changed even today when I'm a mother of three kids. My wish was always the priority and my parents, including my sister, would leave no stone unturned to fulfill what I asked.
When I wasn't under the protective wings of my parents at home, my sister took the charge as soon as we stepped outside of our house. It's not like we would never have fights or pull each other's hair, we did, but it only made our bond stronger. We grew up watching and experiencing the best and the worst moments of our lives. Even now, she is the first person I call when I have something to share, be it good news or bad. And she always has a patient ear for me.
I've seen my sister fall in love, have her first heartbreak, spend days crying over it, and waking up with swollen eyes the next day, moving on or rather trying to make her ex jealous and more. You name it, I've seen it. She saw me go through the same experiences, but, I felt all of it with less intensity because I had with me the things my sister taught me. Some life lessons you may say and I'm here to share them.
Chocolate milkshakes were her first love. She would cycle us down to the shop while I sat behind her whenever dad would give us some change to spare. Whenever she took the first sip, you could feel as if the world stopped around her and it was just her and the milkshake. She would not stop herself from dancing whenever she heard a song too, even if it's the middle of the street. She taught me no matter what happens in our life, it's important to be happy about the moment we're in and relish it like it's the last.
My sister was a role model for me when I grew up. That's how my parents had trained her to be. She was supposed to be the one I look up to and the pressure was immense. But she wasn't perfect, she was a kid who made mistakes, just like anyone else her age. Whenever she made a mistake I was asked to go to my room, I would hear the muffled arguments and scoldings but then everything would be fine once she apologized. She taught me that being a role model doesn't mean you always do only the right thing and be perfect. She was just another person who realized her mistakes, apologized, and learned from them. And I that's how I learned to learn from my mistakes.
When I turned 13, we lost our parents in a car crash. Our world turned upside down and all we had was each other. We went over to our aunts to stay. Our aunt wasn't exactly the best to take care of teenagers but she tried her best. She would take us to movies on weekends, get us icecreams, but none of it made up for the fact that we missed our parents. Even though we felt it, my sister always made sure to enjoy the little things that our aunt did for us. She never missed expressing her gratitude for our aunt. She taught me to remember what we lost but appreciate what we had now.
Music was her life. She used to sing really well but before she held a mic in her hand, it started with a hairbrush. Me being a shy little girl, in the beginning, would stand behind her and watch her sing while she got dressed for school. But I also started imitating her. Not long after, the singing grew on me and then we were singing duets. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of us in our PJ's, staying up late into the night and pretending to be rockstars. Well, we still do that, after putting our kids to bed.
Even though being the elder one, she was obviously the tough one always protecting me. She would scrutinize each guy I dated and make them fear for their lives if they ever hurt my feelings. At the same time, she was a softball of mush inside. People loved her for the way she was, full of love (even for the strangers), compassion, and empathy for everyone she felt needed her. Our personal tragedy helped her realize the things that really mattered, it was human connection. Her being the person she was, helped us survive in the world even though we lost our parent's protection very early.
As we grew up, the need for privacy started hitting both of us, me more than her. But she wouldn't stop bugging me to know what was going on in my life. I would throw a tantrum at that time but now I realize that all of that helped us grow closer. She was very clear that there was no privacy between us. She knew everything about me and I knew everything about her. Even today, she's my best friend who will never leave me alone, ever.
So, dear sister, if you're reading this I just want to thank you for everything you've taught me. I will always love you.
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.