Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Tribute to Kelly

My sister is a very strong woman. She has had to overcome a lot in her life, and she has always been an inspiration to me. Kelly has been my best friend from the day I was born, and has put up with a hell of a lot from me since then. From calling her bad names when I was in middle school, to putting my foot through her windshield after I discovered hard liquor, I can't believe she'll even still talk to me. And I'm so, so lucky because of that.

Kelly was born three and a half months premature in an age where babies would normally not survive. In and out of hospitals for the beginning of her life, she has probably experienced more pain than most people do for years, if ever. It was a miracle she survived, but she needed to be on Earth. Her light was too bright to be extinguished so soon. 

For years my beautiful sister was made fun of because she was born with too much bone in her face, giving her an elongated appearance. In high school, Shriner's Children's Hospital offered to do a surgery to remove the extra bone. Apparently Kelly's face broke two bone saws because her bones were too strong. Visiting my sister in the hospital, I broke into tears and was scared because the post surgery bandages and images were terrifying. It took a long time for her to heal, but when she did she was even more gorgeous than she was before. 

When Kelly left for college, I felt pretty lost. When we dropped her off, we were all sobbing. It was a scary time for all of us. I really, really missed her. A few years later, our Mother died. We were all out of the house, and it was the first time the four of us had been back in the same house since I left. In a way, though, it made us all closer. Especially my sister and I, who were now calling each other every day for support. Through this exceptionally difficult time, my sister remained there for me at any turn or twist in my growing up. Her steadfast love gave me hope. 

This is the kind of person she is. She now has three of the most awesome kids you could ever meet, and another on the way with her very lucky husband. She went on to become a nurse, and we joke it's because her heart is too large. (But really, it is too large from the steroids they gave her when she was a baby.) Kelly is kind, generous, and my favorite person. She is hilarious. Her love never wavers, even when it probably should. I will probably never understand how she balances her ridiculously crazy life, and I'll forever be in awe of that. I could never express my gratitude for her. She is my favorite sister and my best friend. I love you Kelly. 

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