Joel (JO-EL) - Austin,, Texas
Entered on June 30, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family

I believe in the power of siblings. There are five of us, and they all make my world go round.

Michelle is the oldest. She lives in Atlanta and is married with two children. I did not see her often as a child because there is about a 17-year difference between the two of us. This, however, changed nothing. I did not feel less connected to her than I did my other sisters. Just because I did not see her often did not mean she was any less my sister. I remember her coming to Texas when I was young and laying my head in her lap while on the couch. I remember thinking that I never wanted her to leave, but knew that she had her own life to live. I had my tonsils taken out when I was in early elementary. Michelle sent me a stuffed panda bear with a balloon. I am 25 years old and still have the bear. It was a little piece of my sister to keep with me in Texas.

The second oldest is Tiffany. She is my “maternal sister”. For a large part of my life, she served as a parent and a sister. She has shown me parts of this world that I would never have seen on without her. I went to visit her while she was living in Paris and again when she lived in Switzerland. I saw the Mona Lisa, the Eiffel Tower, the beautiful Alps, but most of all I did all of it with my sister. No historical or European experience could ever take the place of the time I spent with MY sister in a foreign country. I also have rather humorous stories of Tiffany driving us to Austin and commenting on the size of the “goats” on the side of the road. These “goats” were actually bails of hay. We promptly asked her to pull the car over and switch drivers.

In the middle is Jennie. She is the one that scares me the most when it comes to sibling connections. There are times that I hear her voice on answering machines and think it is mine. She is also the one I fought more than any other. I remember when she was getting ready to leave for college, and I could not have been happier. Well at least that’s what I wanted her to think. I remember when she left and the feeling of emptiness that replaced her existence. I missed my big sister. I find it funny now to see her in her “big girl” shoes. She is a wife, a mom of three, and a successful businesswoman. Even with all of this, there are times that we still laugh until we cry, make inappropriate comments in public, and dance in the grocery store to the synchronized music in our minds.

The youngest is Chelsea. She just recently graduated high school, but it doesn’t change the fact that I still call her “pie”. I pride myself at times about the fact that I feel I have no regrets, but if I am to be honest, I know that there is one. I regret that I didn’t get to spend more time with her. She grew up with my dad and step mom in Mississippi, so there were times that I felt I had visitation to her too. When I did go to visit, she would follow me around and mimic everything I did. I felt honored, but I often feared that I would not be a good big sister. I then watched her rapidly blossom from a typical adolescent into the most intelligent and beautiful young woman. Though at any point of the day, she is the most beautiful girl in the room and probably has the highest GPA, it is her personality that wins people over. She is the best little sister, and I can’t wait to see what this world has in store for her. Or maybe I should say, what she has in store for this world.

There is a piece of me in all of my sisters and a piece of them in me. They are my world. They are my sisters; they are family.