As Elton John walked onto stage and tears filled my eyes. I looked over at my sister and couldn’t believe we were having such an amazing experience once again together. My mind races back almost four years ago when we were in Paris (France not Texas). We were at the Louvre and had just seen the Mona Lisa. We sat on a bench and my sister started to cry. She looked at me and asked how two girls who grew up in a town with 1200 people end up here? It was a moment of reflection for both of us of how far we had come in life.
Amanda Marie was born two years before me. I’ve never known a day without her. We spent many years as kids arguing, playing, having dance parties, and begging to have sleep overs in each other’s room. We loved each other but struggled because we were and have always been complete opposites… in every way… we don’t even look like sisters!
We struggled when mom died because we both handled and coped in such different ways. Even though at times it was very difficult, we never stopped trying to make our relationship work… and at times I think we would both admit it was a struggle.
As years went by we realized our differences are what makes our relationship so remarkable. She brings so much to my cautious and anxious life. She encourages… and even drags me to spots of truly living life in the moment…. Paris, Chicago to see Hamilton, Elton John… and in these moments I feel so alive and lost in time.
You see she helps me be a better me and it is because she not only sees the depth of my soul, but she loves all of me fiercely. She knows every crack in my heart, yet she loves me. Parts of me I dislike she see the beauty of my complete being. She has cheered for me in every step of life… from track meets, to grad school, to the birth of Keaton. Even in the moments when we were struggling in how we related to each other she never stopped showing her love and support for me.
I don’t take our relationship for granted one bit. We often say we are so close because mom did die… we both have learned to fully embrace this gift that came out of tragedy. She is my sister, my friend, part of my soul.