Friday, February 6, 2015

Friend Spotlight

This time, I would like to cast the spotlight on not only someone I consider a family member but also a dear friend:

my sister, Lexie.

Lexie's high school senior photo (I took this photo of her in Boston :-))

I was 11 years old on the day my Mom leaned across the restaurant table towards me and said in a hushed, excited voice, "I'm pregnant!"  My stomach did a little flip flop, my heart skipping a beat.  But when she told me I was going to have a little sister, that's when my heart really swelled with thrill and warmth.  A little sister was a prospect that filled me with love and happiness.

From the moment she was born, I have loved this little girl (now a young woman) to the ends of the earth.  My heart expanded to nearly exploding out of my chest with love each time I held her.  As Lexie grew up, I was her main babysitter when needed.  Once she reached the age when the two of us were able to play together (age 6/7/8, around that time), she and I would play together for hours on end.

Holding my newly born baby sister, Lexie.

"Don't touch the ground" was one of our favorites.  A game in which the ground below Lexie became lava, thus she was unable to touch the ground or she would perish.  And the objective: to reach another part of the room, or even another part of the house, jumping from piece of furniture to piece of furniture.

We played lots of other games including wheel-barrel (a game during which I would hold on to Lexie's legs and she would use her arms to race around the house as quickly as possible.  I was a mean big sister, huh? ;-)), we wrestled, we jumped on the trampoline, I created obstacles courses that Lexie and I then had to race through, we played "House", the game list goes on.

My ex, Adam, Lexie and myself also became quite close over the years as a little group of three.  Lexie, Adam and I spent time together often, in all of the ways I listed above and more (going out to dinner together, playing outside in the snow, playing board games, etc).

Look at that cutie!
Lexie told me often as she was growing up that I was someone she adored and looked up to.  I will never, ever forget the moment when I was away at college in Keene, NH and had gone to the mail room to retrieve any mail I might have gotten.  I opened an envelope I had received from my Mom and pulled out a single, hand-written sheet of paper.  The childish scrawl held the title at the top, "The person I admire most in the world" and then the essay began, "The person I admire most in this world is my big sister, Brooke."  I stopped walking in the middle of the busy corridor, my breath caught, my eyes grew wet, as I finished reading the essay.  It took my breath away.  Wow.

I received another one a short while later!  Within a few months after the first one.  Yet this one was titled, "My favorite person in the world," and it was also written by Lexie about me.  It took my breath away just as powerfully as the first one.

This was always deeply meaningful and powerful for me.  Knowing I was a person my sister looked up to and loved so deeply.  I felt honored by this and always tried to set a good example for her.  I loved being able to explain things to her when she asked me questions, give her answers that I hoped were meaningful, and to help guide her in different ways of life when she came to me for guidance.

Growing up and going through her teenage years, Lexie and I talked often.  She came to me about things regarding friends, boys or family.  She told me I was someone she could talk to.  Lexie and I have a deep, close relationship.  We also have a relationship filled with silliness, fun and acceptance.

Lexie is a wonderful woman.  I am so proud of the woman she is, and the woman she continues to grow to be.  She is honest and forgiving.  She is fun to be with and silly.  She is loving and intelligent.  I am deeply blessed to be able to call Lexie my sister.  I feel so lucky to be a recipient of her love.  And I in turn have loved her with all of my heart since the moment she was born.  She is a friend (and sister) that makes my life brighter.