As we grew up, mom and dad never made it easy for us to have even a somewhat-normal life. They often had intense fights, and both of them seemed to be on their own journey towards figuring themselves out when we, just kids, were trying so hard to do the same. We often said, it was as if they were the children and we were the parents. Complete role-reversal. Especially when it came to mom and her struggle with addiction. She ultimately chose drugs over us, shunning us out, and now none of us have her in our lives. Each of us have to live day-by-day knowing that she's missing out on some of the best moments in our lives. And moments where we could really use a mom to be there for us. It is truly one of the saddest things to try and cope with. And while both mom and dad have had many positive moments and times when they truly shined bright as parents, it sadly becomes overshadowed by all of the other dark moments we were put through.
But the thing is, through all of those traumatic moments that may forever haunt us, we always had one thing: each other. And I'm so grateful for that, and I just want you to know a few things:
I'm so proud of both of you. I feel like since I'm the baby sister, I haven't been able to say that often (at least without you both making fun of me for being wise beyond my years). But I am so proud of both of you. You have done it all without much help, and at times, no help at all. You both practically raised me and then went on to start your own lives and raise your own children. I recall nights that were so dark and disturbing, but you both stayed as strong as you possibly could for me. Even when you both moved out, I knew I was never alone in bearing the heartache our parents brought on through their incessant fights - you came to my rescue whenever I needed you. You manage it all - sister, friend, daughter, wife, and mom - all while continuing to be such a huge part of my life, today and always.
You are my best friends. We talk every day and you're the first ones I call if I need advice, a shoulder to cry on, or have exciting news to share. We can go on an adventure or do absolutely nothing together and have just as much fun. We can talk for hours about completely pointless things, or have deep thought-provoking heart-to-hearts. I truly enjoy spending my time with you, and any chance I get, I try to make that happen. I miss you when life gets busy and our plans together are still weeks away. You understand me, sometimes even better than I understand myself.
My heart aches when you're sad. I remember receiving the news that one of your friend's passed away. And my heart ached hearing the sadness in your voice and seeing the pain in your eyes. Our connection runs deep, so whenever you're sad or are suffering, that pain begins to infect my heart and my mind. I can hardly bear to see either of you sad, and I will do anything in my power to try and help the situation. All I want is for both of you to be genuinely happy.
You've always been there. Whether it was dance recitals, graduation, wedding dress shopping, or answering the phone at 2:00am...you've both always been there. For the big, for the small, and for everything in between.
You stayed strong through the darkest of times. Even if you felt like falling apart, you kept it together for me when I was too young to understand it all. I've watched both of you remain strong through some of the darkest times in our lives. And I swear it is what made me the strong person I am today. But when we do need to fall apart, we have each other to lean on.
I sincerely don't know where I'd be without you. And I know I say this a lot, but I truly do not know, nor would I ever want to find out, where I'd be without both of you. I don't even know where I would've ended up through all of mom and dad's turmoil. I would be lost, I probably would not be half the woman I am today without your strength, guidance, and support.
Whatever life seems to throw our way, we find a way to get through it, together. We can laugh about the good, cry (or even try to laugh) about the bad. We may disagree, we may argue, and we may have had a lot of bad things come our way over the years, but the thing is, we always get past it. We always move forward and we are always there for one another. And I wouldn't change a single thing about the cards we were dealt in this life, regardless of how shitty they were in so many instances of our lives, because those cards also dealt us with power of sisterhood. It was like something knew we would need each other to get through it all. Through the dark, the ugly, the happy, and the bright, we have always had each other.I love you both so very much.