My Dear Mrs. E,
You are married! Your wedding was such a wonderful, happy weekend despite the sweltering heat and late nights for the children. And it seemed so fitting for you as a bride to be surrounded by SIX swirling flower girl nieces who could not take their eyes off you the whole day. They will always remember your feminine beauty as they watched you wed yourself to your husband, their new UNCLE!
But as I watched you that morning, as I waited to walk up the aisle before you on the arm of our brother (thank you for that, by the way, I was thrilled to be walking with him), all my memories of our childhood together came back to me. I feel like I left the family house in a whirlwind of college, falling, in love, and moving away. You, my sister, took your time. You grew into a beautiful, mature, whole woman, and you waited until the precise time God wanted for you, for the exact person. God prepared your hearts for each other. And I can’t wait to see you living as a married women just three hours away from us.
Back to our childhood; those years of us three sisters in our room together. First there was the small room upstairs where I was a toddler and little girl, and then the big bedroom in the basement with you sleeping under the stairs. You and our sister showed me the way to be. I always liked having my two big sisters around. In elementary school, you were always there to ride the bus with me. Remember the time I brought the pet mice home in a cardboard box on the bus? I only wanted them because you had a pet mouse before me. And I copied you in wanting an American Girl Doll. And being the younger sister I tagged along to all of your soccer games and gymnastics meets. I watched you and our older sister do all the things that I was too shy to do. And you both did them so well.
I think that my favorite time of childhood together was the two years we had together in high school. We may have fought everyday on the way to school, as I grumpily submitted to your favorite Bebo Norman music. I had my big sister around to drive me to and from school. And we had a lot of fun going to Bebo concerts whenever he was in town! I also learned how to go deeper into my faith with you as we went to several youth groups together. It was through your youth group that I went to my first Steubenville Youth Conference, which changed the course of my life. We tried to go to daily Mass before school every morning, but ended up being late for school too often and having to stop. Those two years of high school together were such a special time. And then you went to college. But while you were in college our oldest sister began to live at home while she finished college. And while you lived on campus, you still were around at home.
And then two years into your college life, I went off to Steubenville. You came to visit me on campus, and you met the man I was slowly falling in love with. The summer after my first year of college, we took that memorable road trip to Michigan to visit the him. You were always so supportive of me in my relationship with him.
While I was finishing high school and off in college, you were advancing in PT school, using your knowledge to help your friends and family. You taught me how to run without injuring my knees. I had never been able to be a runner before, but you changed my gait and helped me be a runner (a slow and short distance one, but a runner nonetheless). Our sister pointed out to me over the weekend how she sees your whole life having been pointing towards being a PT, beginning with you always sitting head down on the couch and into your years of doing and then teaching gymnastics and now your ability to intuit so many things about the body. You have helped so many people, and God will make the opportunities for you to do it still when you are in Iowa.
After I got married and began to have children, you were always the most attentive aunt. Never a visit went by without you teaching my youngest to do something new developmentally. And while you did not get to play with him your wedding weekend, your baby nephew decided to take his first steps this week in honor of your marriage; he shouts “go, go, go!” and wobbles a few steps before collapsing. We will have to show you when we see you next.
So, my dear sister, you are really, truly married. I was there; I heard your vows; I fixed your train a dozen times or so. You were and are a beautiful bride. And I am praying for you and your sweet, loving husband. I am so excited to get to know you better as a the one you two have become.
May God grant you many happy, full, holy years together.
Your Loving Sister,