Thursday, July 28, 2011


"Sisters function as safety nets in a chaotic world simply by being there for each other. "
~ Carol Saline

canoe trip, circa 2005

This is Laurie.

She is my best friend, and my little sister.

July, 1989

I met Laurie when I was three years old, and it's safe to say that my life has not been the same since.

"Teddy Bear Tea", circa 1991

The beauty of having a sister is that you always have someone to play with... and the beauty of having a little sister is that, at least until a certain age, you get to call the shots & make up the rules for the game.

Laurie was always up for whatever I suggested. Sometimes we would put on our long skirts and bonnets & go on "pioneering adventures" in our backyard, our back deck becoming our covered wagon as we ventured into the unknown, inevitably encountering wild animals and nursing each other back to health after a bout with the dreaded scarlet fever.

... Sometimes we would put on our pretty dresses and sling white gauzy mosquito netting over our heads and perform wedding ceremonies.

Sometimes we would simply sit together and tell stories.

"Biking" together, circa 1991

I've heard it said that the love of sisters is a "volatile love"... and I know that it's true. We were in no way "atypical siblings" ... and we frequently drove each other nuts. I think because we were girls, that added in a little bit of (mostly) healthy competition into the mix as well. Laurie knows what makes me tick ... and she also knows what ticks me off (she always has ;).

But at the end of the day, I love her fiercely. I feel her joy intensely, and her pain acutely. I would walk through fire for this girl. ... and I know she'd do the same for me.

She's always been musical! Circa 1991

Laurie has always had a way of nurturing and bringing out my creativity (and it is here that I assure you that this post is coming late not because I lacked inspiration, but rather because I lacked time :).

With Laurie I was free to let my imagination roam... to let my words carry me away.... to free myself and believe what my heart wanted to believe. In recent years she has continued to inspire me creatively. For example: she encouraged me to go for it when I was considering starting my blog, and helped me to come up with the name "Amy Around the Corner". I may have mentioned that I am (in fits & starts) writing a novel -- Laurie was the first person I told, and I think that she's just as excited about it as I am.

This past Christmas she made me a "Writing Box": a sturdy box with a handcrafted lid, filled with pens, notebooks, (my personal favorites!) steno notepads, and peppermint gum ("Because peppermint sparks creativity," she told me). It's one of the most thoughtful and meaningful gifts I have ever received.

circa 2010

Laurie is hilarious. I'll always remember the nights when we giggled ourselves to sleep in the twin beds up on the Island.

Confession: Laurie doesn't like this picture. But I love it, and I think she's beautiful in it and it's my blog... so it made it into the love letter.

Laurie is beautiful. She has always exuded a confidence that I find enviable: pushing forward to make her own path; embracing new ideas and new challenges. She is one of the most welcoming souls I've ever had the pleasure of meeting -- she genuinely cares about every single person she comes in contact with, and that shines through in her words and actions. Recently, I've had the pleasure of watching her heart catch on fire over issues of social justice-- there is no doubt in my mind that this woman is going to change the world someday.

Laurie's senior choir concert, Spring 2007

With her quiet strength and compassion, it came as no surprise to our family when Laurie decided to pursue nursing as a career. For 4 years we laughed with her as she told funny stories from clinicals, sighed with her as she lamented over tough classes and difficult professors, and were appropriately grossed out amazed by the feats of the human body.

On May 6, we proudly watched as she walked across the stage to receive her diploma. And on August 1, she will begin a new chapter of her life, with her first job as a nurse in a Toledo hospital. And while I am sad that she is moving away, more than that I am excited for her. I'm excited to hear all the stories of her first job, first apartment (without a roommate ... although I am strongly recommending that she get a kitty. Heh. I need a fuzzy niece/nephew to spoil ;), and all the adventures that come with being on your own as a young professional.

I am able to embrace my joy and overlook the ache because of what I know to be true: It doesn't matter how far apart we are. We will always be sisters; we will always be friends. She will always be the girl I shared my childhood with. She will always be the woman I admire. She will always be the one who knows my secret hopes & dreams, as well as embarrassing stories about me that I'd rather she forget... She will always be the one who was standing beside me as I experienced the most intense happiness (getting married) and the most crushing loss (my grandpa) in my life. I know she'll always be there for me, whether she's 2 hours away, 2 towns away, or two doors down.

Sisterhood is a sacred, unbreakable bond.

Of all the things my parents have given me, I am most thankful that they gave me a little sister. My life is so much richer with her in it.

My wedding day, September 2009

Happy birthday, Laurie. Here's to all the beautiful mysteries the future holds.
(July 14, 2011)