To the big sister I never had,
Thank you for showing up at the stage of my life where I'm going to need you the most.
I grew up as the oldest child, the oldest cousin. I understood that my duty was to protect and guide, and in turn, I had no one to protect and guide me. Of course, I had my parents. Yet, I had no one older to look up to that wasn't parental. I spent my teen years feeling alone and gipped by my own family, the ones who didn't make an effort even when it was the only thing I wanted in this world.
Meeting you was an extreme blessing and it came at a time where I had no idea that we would come to have the bond that we do. Although we are family, I never would have imagined that we would grow to be so close, and that you (and your children) would come to mean the world to me. I thought that, just like everyone else, our interactions would be limited to family parties and the occasional text message. You proved me wrong, and I couldn't be more grateful for that if I tried. Our bond has foregone the normal "familial obligations"- We text almost daily, and although you are 10 years older than me, you treat me as if I am your equal. That is one of my favorite things about you, and it is one of the many things that I thank you for. You are always honest with me, you put things in perspective when I'm flustered, and keep me grounded when I'm having a bad day. There are not many people that I respect and love as much as you. In a world where true, genuine people are hard to come by, I am so happy I found you. You make my world a better place to be, and I truly hope you know the depth of your impact.
There is also nothing more rewarding to me than the fact that you have let me take on such an active role in the lives of your children- they have become such a big part of my world, and I will do everything in my power to always protect them, love them, and cultivate their growth. It takes a village to raise a child, and I am eternally grateful to be a part of your village. Being someone that your children love and admire has made me a better person, and I can only hope that you know how much of an honor it is for me to be a part of them growing up. I admire you so much for how you parent- you utilize the right mix of compassion and discipline. As I get older, and potentially have children of my own, it is a big weight off my shoulders to know that I can look to you for guidance. You are a phenomenal mother, and although no one is perfect, it is evident that you're doing an amazing job. Your children are blessed to have you, and so am I.
You came into my life at a time where everything is starting to fall into place, and ironically, I need you now more than ever. I'm navigating my early 20's, a place where you were once, and your opinions/insights are going to mean a lot to me as I start making some "real world" decisions about my life after college. I know that you truly want what's best for me, and will be there no matter what. It makes my near-future a little less scary to know that I have someone like you to depend on and look up to.
I love you with all my heart, and I thank you for taking on a role that you never had to. It's an amazing feeling to know that I have you to guide me, wherever the road may take us. I will always be here for you and for your children just as you have been there for me.
With all my love and respect always,
The little sister you gained