I’m afraid that’s a question I can’t answer. I haven’t lived a day without one.
Being the younger one in my sibling crew, I was born into the role — the little sister. But Kim wasn’t. She had a few years of full on only child time before I arrived. I often wonder what she was thinking. For years, she was the full recipient of parental love. And then, BAM, this tiny little pain in the ass arrived.
Legend has it that Kim was staying at a neighbor’s house while my Mom was at the hospital delivering yours truly. When she was told the baby had arrived, and it was a girl, she was so excited that she catapulted off the bed and slammed her head into a dresser. Had I been there, and slightly older, I probably would’ve kept it from happening. Such is the nature of our relationship.
Through the good, the bad and the bubbly.
It’s almost 47 years now we’ve been together. I would say there have been ups and downs, but truth be told, the downs in our relationship have been few, and certainly brief. Take that one shared year of high school out of the equation, and the amount of discourse that remains is microscopic. That’s pretty darn amazing.
It’s not to say that we haven’t had tough times, challenging times in each of our lives. Of course we have. But we made it through those times because of each other, not in spite of.
Through the years…every last one of them, I never wondered. I always knew. I have a person. I have someone that I can always count on, no matter what. She will speak the truth, but she has my back. She is my fiercest defender (believe me, I’ve seen it in action). She is the kind word. The harsh reality check. My sounding board. To this day, she is still who I aspire to be.
It’s an odd thing, really. To share so many traits, yet be so different. I’ve thought about this a lot. And as far as I can tell, it comes down to this. At our core, our morals and values, we are virtually mirror images of each other. In large part, I’m sure, due to some pretty stellar parenting. But also because it’s just in our DNA.
We’re both fiercely loyal, and fair. In fact, there’s nothing that will piss a Wynn girl off more than shadiness, liars or meanies. We value independence and diversity, and believe a world without it isn’t worth much. We have strong gut instincts, and when those instincts tell us one thing, it’s damn near impossible for us to live in opposition to them. To Kim and I, connection is everything. Connecting with other humans. With animals. Friends, coworker and strangers. If we could turn the world into the old Coke commercial (“I’d like to teach the world to sing…in perfect harmony…”), we would. In short, we’re hippies with business minds.
Yet so different…
You remember my mentioning above that if I could’ve, I would’ve protected Kim from that nasty fall off the bed. But I was just a newborn and couldn’t do things like walk or talk or really move. So that time, the accident happened. And she survived. She always comes out in one piece.
Odds are, if Kim were told again that she had a new baby sister or brother, she would likely catapult off the bed again, into that same dresser. Why? Because she is capable of fully living in her joy. Without fear of consequences. I, on the other hand, have a bit more trouble in that area. I like to weigh my risks before leaping. Sometimes that keeps me safe, or helps me to keep Kim safe. But sometimes it holds me back. Because Kim is in my life, I’ve taken more risks. And as a result, I’ve lived more. Laughed more. Cried more and had fewer regrets. She did that for me. She does that for me still today. How lucky am I?
On the flip side, my centered, common sensical ways have helped my sometimes overly sensitive sibling from going too far, from hurting too much. I can calm her like no one else, and I believe my advice has sheltered her from some avoidable storms.
Laughter, love and loads more laughter.
The best part of having a sister, my sister, is how much we truly enjoy each other’s company. In most of my very best memories, she is a central character. From sitting on the couch and breaking down the world’s problems, to zip lining in Costa Rica, (unsuccessfully) attempting to cool a hot tub with 50 pounds of ice, traversing the Parthenon as teens, sipping cocktails on countless beaches and now, partnering in a new business venture (call us if you need a couple of scrappy marketers and writers), we’ve done it all, together. And I look forward to the mundane and magnificent adventures to come in the next half century.
Happy birthday to my best friend.
Kim, as we celebrate your birthday today (and on the trip to come), please know this. You have made my life more colorful, more joyful and more meaningful, and you’ve made it easier for me to show and receive love.
I am so proud of you for always standing up for what you believe, for being an amazing mother and friend and for being the very best sister I could’ve have dreamed up. I love you and I’m here for you, always and forever.