apart. I sometimes feel bad for her for having me as her older sister. I haven't exactly always been the most amazing example when it comes to making good
decisions. Then there's also the fact that we found out pretty early on that we
are two very, very different people. Especially when we were teenagers we found we had different tastes, opinions, attitudes, tempers, and priorities. I think
on the major issues in life we saw eye to eye, but we simply had incredibly different ways of going about things. I am convinced that on many levels her
ways were the better ways, and so she became a role model to me in times
I should have probably been one to her. I actually wrote a poem about us
once that I've never shown anyone, called "Day and Night". In it she is very
That said, I have so many fun and happy memories of growing up with Marissa! I remember so many times we would crawl into bed together despite having separate bedrooms, and talking/laughing/keeping each other company until we fell asleep. She would come and confide in me about boys (not many, mind you! I was the boy crazy one) and I loved hearing her stories and going over her questions with her. We would make music together - harmonizing, playing quatre-mains on the piano, performing pieces in church and (mostly) during family occasions. She is an incredibly talented musician and in my opinion never gives herself enough credit for it. I remember giving her makeovers and picking outfits for her. I was always so jealous of her gorgeous figure and beautiful long piano fingers!
When we were in South Carolina for a while, going to High School there, she was nothing short of my saving grace. I had such a rough time there and she was the only person I felt loved and accepted around. I know I made things extra hard on her during that time when she just wanted to experience new things and have me at her side, and I'll forever be sorry for that. But I am so grateful I had her then.
Then we grew up. I met Sander, and she instantly loved and accepted him as part of our family. Little by little we began to figure out that we were so much less different than we thought. That's when life decided to physically separate us, when we were finally coming together emotionally and spiritually. I got married and settled with Sander in The Hague, she went to school in Utah. I started having children, and she went on a mission. I had some more kids and became more rooted in our life in Holland, and she found love and settled, in the USA. We weren't around each other to see what kind of mothers we were, and be the support for each other I know we could have been had we been closer.
Despite that distance, or maybe thanks to that distance, we grew very close in heart. I came to miss my baby sister so very much. There were times when I felt so lonely and just wished and prayed that somehow I could have her around. There were times when I knew she was having difficult times and it frustrated me so much to know how much help and support I could be to her, but not be able to give it to her the way I wanted to. Then just over 1.5 years ago, we were finally brought together again, and that reunion has been such a tender and sweet one for me!
Marissa, our years apart have made me forget every single one of the things that make us different. I look at you now and see such a beautiful, strong woman. I am nothing but proud of you! You are my friend, as well as my sister. You are a truly fantastic mother to your children and I don't tell you often enough how much you teach me about motherhood. I can not even remember the last time we fought, and I know we'll be able to keep it that way. That makes so happy. I don't know if I can find the words needed to convey what you mean to me. Just know that I love you with all my heart, and I could never want for a better sister than you. Have a beautiful Birthday, you beautiful girl!