The older I get, the more I realize things I should've realized decades ago. Don't respond when you're angry…never leave the house without saying I Love You…wear new underwear on your birthday…basically, all the things my mother told me a thousand times before, but I refused to pay attention.
My mother would yell reminders as we ran out the door on the way to basketball practice or whisper them as she kissed us goodnight. Whenever possible, she'd indoctrinate her five children with familial ideology that boiled down one thing: love your siblings, always.
All these years later–in spite of the ups and downs that occur–my sisters and brother have remained tethered to each other. For this, I am incredibly thankful.
Zoe, my little baby bear, thank you for reminding me to be present. Your life fills a room with joy, laughter, and (a little bit of) drama at all times and I love how hard you work to share memories–not money–with those you love.
Sebastian, there are moments when I just want you to crawl into my lab so I can cradle you the way I did when you were a baby and I was your proud big sister. You've become a man striving for what's better in life and I promise to stand by your side as you find your way.
Alexandria, you are kind. You are good. You are amazing. I appreciate how you always find the best in life, refuse to see the negative, and help the family in the most tangible ways. Your creativity inspires me…and simultaneously makes me jealous.
Bianca, in spite of the toughest situations, you shine. You're a gifted teacher and inspire many to be better versions of themselves. You teach me what grace and forgiveness looks like and without you, I'm not whole.