(Despite my wishes this will be a relatively lame post due to my lack of pictures-our computer is down which stores everything, resorting to laptop, sans files.)
Today is Michelle's 39th birthday and mostly I just wish I could be there to celebrate with her. It's been 3 years since I have been able to be present, since we moved to Charlotte. I miss family birthday celebrations and I think I may need to plan my next trip to Utah in March. I am feeling uncharacteristically brief tonight, so I will reminisce some on our history.
Michelle is 10 years older than I, so our childhoods were very different. When we wax on, telling stories of our youth, neither one share any of the same memories or recollections, either because I wasn't born, was too young to remember, or she had already moved out. It is rare that we stumble across a shared experience from childhood that we both remember. I do recall her being worried that neither Ryan nor I would ever be friends with her because she was "so mean" to us. I can think of a few teenage outbursts or retaliations, but who can blame her? When she was 16 I was 6- How annoying! We gradually got to know each other when she would return home to visit, married with children. We sent occasional letters and she would help me navigate the turbulent time of adolescence, giving evidence that there was life beyond high school and better things to come. Once I moved to Utah to go to BYU we really became friends as we spent the most time together that we ever had. I would go to her house for Sunday dinners every week and it gave me a much needed respite from the dorms, roommates and apartment life. I still largely felt like the little sister until I began to get older and share more life experiences with her- as I got married and had my own children we became peers and our friendship solidified. The brief years I spent in Utah after we were married were some of the best, living in such close proximity and sharing the experiences of a stay-at-home mom. She fielded so many calls in early motherhood. Every holiday was a family celebration and her home was always open to us. Her home is still one of the only places that I feel as comfortable in as I do my own home. Now the miles separate us, but we talk frequently. Sometimes we talk everyday for a few days in a row, sometimes once a week, but always often. We share emails, blogs, facebook and circle journals. I miss being involved in her daily life, in her daily routines, events, minutiae and family, but she is still a part of my daily life. She is just not physically present. I love to have her as a sister and a friend, and as I have recounted many times, she is one of the only people who has been there for me for every major event of my life- physically there, as well as supportively. (I think I made that word up.) I hope some day our lives lessen the miles between us, but for now I am blessed to call her my sister and my best friend. I hope my girls enjoy a friendship with each other as Michelle and I do.
Happy Birthday Shell, I love you.