I still remember the dimples. The ones that made the little indentations on her hands right below the last knuckle on each of her fingers. The ones that signified “I’m a baby…all round…and chubby…and totally adorable.” The ones that reminded me not to play too rough, tease too often, or trail too far ahead. The ones that signified “nap time” as they lazily crept towards her eyelids for a little afternoon rub.
I remember loving those dimples…how they represented innocence and youth, a life full of potential and thrill. I remember how they slowly faded away as she grew bigger and stronger, grew more assertive and more confident in herself. But mostly, I remember willing myself to never forget them…to never let go of the memories of her as a little girl, as someone I absolutely adored and cherished.
I was 9 when my sister Coli was born. She was 0 and I was 9, and it was a BIG deal.
I remember watching the minutes tick by on the tiny clock above the stove at my Grammie and Grandpa’s house – each forward movement of the black hour hand over the silver dial nurturing my excitement and growing anticipation for this new little person in my life. I remember the clock willing me to calm my sister Sarah, who was almost 6 at the time. “We are going to have a new little sister, Sarah” I said, as I attempted to relieve the confused, worried expression across her face, yet only making matters a whole lot worse. I remember squirming with enthusiasm at the thought of having a baby of my own…one I could watch over, play with and maybe even boss around from time to time. I remember being so thrilled to bring her home…to help dress her and feed her and hug her.
It’s an amazing feeling being a big sister. The one who gets the luxury of watching life happen to the ones shorter than you. I feel so fortunate to have two little sisters whom I admire, look up to and think of often. I feel incredibly fortunate that one of my little sisters was born at a time when I was big enough to grab a memory, wrangle it and tuck it inside my memory box for safe keeping. To this day, one of my biggest inspirations in my life is Coli. She inspires me to be a better person, to set a better example, to reach for my dreams.
How lucky am I to remember the dimpled details on her hands, to remember trips to the zoo and weekends in our backyard in Colorado? How lucky am I to remember her coming off the bench as a freshman in high school to her very first varsity soccer game at Five Star Stadium? How lucky am I to remember the tears that streamed down her face as she left me in my empty dorm room on my first day of college? How lucky am I to even know her? To watch her grow? To flourish? To laugh? To walk tall? To watch her become the beautiful woman that she is today? How lucky am I to walk beside her in this thing called life, despite the many miles that sit between us day after day? How lucky am I to have had her here in Seattle for the past week, during her only break of the summer?
How lucky am I?
Pretty damn lucky.