On a special gift from God

This week I’d like to tell you something about my sister. She has always been a magpie.

That is, she has always has a deep affinity for shiny things. And when we were younger, this bordered on covetousness. I remember one thing in particular that grieved her little treasure-seeking heart. It was a red “gem” made of plastic. It was huge. It was shiny. It had a place in my treasure box and every so often we’d get out our treasures like careful curators. Every time that red gem came out, my sister turned into Bilbo Baggins, begging for his old ring. She’d lament, “it isn’t fair! You get all the best things!” I adamantly maintained that this wasn’t true, that she had plenty of lovely things, that she didn’t need my prized red gem. I wouldn’t barter it away.

As we grew older, those silly arguments faded away and jealousy was less obvious. My own jealousy of my younger sister was veiled, limited to my own thoughts. She was popular, she had more Webkinz than I did, she was brave and funny and remembered by her wit. Next to her I felt like a quiet awkward weirdo. But she was always one of my closest friends, so usually I didn’t care too much. Funny though, how sisterly affection can still leave so much room for envy. It is difficult not to compare yourself to your sister when everything you do is so close to the other.

Over time, the jealousy fades. You grow older, you become more certain of yourself. In my case, my sister also became my best friend and closest confidant, and that leaves little room for the game of comparison. For a while, everything happened in the “correct order.” I, being the older sister, went to Prom first, graduated first, went to college first, etc. She followed closely behind me. When she arrived at my alma matter two years after me, I was delighted. We sang in choirs together, had coffee dates, and once again lived in close proximity, which made for easy movie nights. I think graduating college was hardest because it meant leaving her behind.

Then in our little race of life, she started pulling ahead. She met the love of her life, planned to be married the summer after her college graduation, got married, got an apartment, got pregnant, bought a house…all while I was still very much figuring out how to cope with my lack of significant life events.

But then I met the love of my life, got married, bought a house, got pregnant…and suddenly I was leaning on my younger sister for support as I navigated the difficulties of each thing. She was there to help me wedding plan. There to support me and pray for me as we searched for a house. When we found our perfect home just five minutes down the road from her, she made sure to say a few extra prayers, I’m sure. Then in the strange and wonderful anxieties of pregnancy, she was there. In the postpartum depression, she was there, telling me how she’d gotten through things, how it might be hard but it would get better.

Really it didn’t matter who was born first. We’ve always joked that we are twins in spirit but God didn’t want to overwhelm the world by letting us arrive at the same time. He certainly timed our arrivals perfectly. My sister and I can do life together, lean on each other, and pray for each other from our shared experiences and unique wisdom.

The other day she bragged about her new glasses that are very shiny (what did I tell you, magpie!) and I was brought back to those childhood bedroom arguments. Somehow I’m certain she convinced me to give her the red gem, though by now it’s been lost to time and misplaced treasure chests. Little did we know back then that each of our lives would be so full of blessings that it would hardly matter who had the “best things.” We both do. Although, I am a little behind on number of babies… so maybe I’m a *little* bit jealous.

God knew what He was doing when He gave me my sister. Our friendship is one of my greatest treasures. I wish I could go rub it in her seven year old little face. “Yeah, I do get all the best things, and you are one of them.” But I guess this ridiculously sappy blogpost is going to have to suffice.
Samantha Coté, you know how pregnancy makes me all weepy, so don’t judge me! 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for graciously going before me in so many endeavors so that I didn’t have to do them alone.


Popular Posts