|5 MONTHS! 93 POUNDS! 73 INCHES!|
Same sweater, same pose, same sisters, different me!
This one goes out to my little sister Tamar. Tamar has tried for years to help me, she has prayed for me, she has cried for me. She celebrated with me each time I tried, she never judged me each time I quit. She was always there excited to try again with me. She never told me if you quit this time I am done! She never gave up on me. She has been my biggest supporter. And now she gets to reap the rewards of not only seeing me succeed but now I am the one leading the way, the way a big sister should. Now she comes to me for advice, now I cook for her.
As children I was her protector, she looked to me for shelter, safety and advice. At the table a couple of weeks ago, surrounded by 12 of my family and friends we celebrated my 47th birthday. I sat as everyone took turns saying something about me. When it was my sisters turn she told a couple stories from our childhood and as tears streamed from her eyes, she shared how she could always look up to me and wouldn't be who she is today. She talked about how some days we weren't allowed to come home until very late, we were young. There would be a note on the door letting us know that we couldn't come in. I was about 9 and she 6 or 7 years old. When we were allowed to come in it was late. I had figured out how to feed us and how to keep us safe till we could go home. And when we got home, I would put her to bed and sit up late doing both our homework. She remembers waking up and seeing me still sitting there doing our homework. The whole table was in tears during this story, even my son who later shared some deep feelings with me on how that story really impacted him, realizing all I had gone through, hearing it from her. He thanked me for all that I did in his life, it wasn't easy, I was a kid raising kids.
I always took pride in taking care of her, but life shifted. I didn't heal from my childhood for many years, I was so broken and I didn't know I deserved to be loved without taking care of someone the way I took care of her. It was all I knew, the only way I deserved love was to be doing something for someone to get loved. A day came in my life where there was nothing left in me that believed I would ever be loved, even if I gave more. I stopped being someone my sister could come to for safety, I became someone whose life was unmanageable, and I often needed her help. I was dying slowly, I was killing myself slowly. But she never gave up on me, not once! She never abandoned me, not once! She loved me at my worst even more. She knew all along who I was. Even when I didn't. She knew I was her big sister, capable of anything. Able to protect her, able to stand up to anything, she knew me as fearless and caring, kind and loving.
When I forgot I was all these things, she was always there to remind me. Even if I didn't listen, she would remind me again. And today I can smile, tears streaming down my face and say... Thank you Tamar! Thank you for never giving up on me. I love you so much.
Today I get to be the big sister I always was, but better! A big sister who not only knows my worth but is an example to her of her worth. Today I get to stand tall and take care of her for different reasons. This time it is not only because I love her that much. Today it is because I love us both that much.
I love you all from a place of gratitude to life for allowing me to be here today, having gained all that I have gained in this lifetime and coming out with the greatest realizations of who I am, who you are, who we are.