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Sisters – The Ultimate Best Friends

My sister, Jessi, is truly one of the most beautiful people (inside and out) that I know. She is kind, caring, strong, brave, silly, and exceptionally clever. She has succeeded at everything she puts her mind to and has been a role model for me my entire life. Yeah, yeah, I know, everyone says this about someone in their family, but this is how I genuinely feel.

From an early age, we were nearly inseparable. My sister is two years older than me, so we have always had similar interests. We loved playing Barbies together, watching cartoons, pestering our parents together, we had shared friends, the works! Like any siblings, of course, we got on each other’s nerves (we still do from time to time), but any time someone at daycare was bullying me, Jessi was always there to defend me and comfort me. In 1997, my parents divorced, and this put the first real strain on our relationship.

At the time of our parent’s divorce, Jessi was also starting to show signs of mental illness. Being only 8, I had no idea that this was happening to her or really what was going on. I continued to have my relationship with her the same as I always had, except now we shared a bedroom at my dad’s house, which lead to more fighting. My dad and sister also had a turbulent relationship, with my sister in her pre-teen defiant phase and my dad having anger management issues and being unsupportive/ a non-believer in mental health issues. They fought constantly when we were at his house. When my dad would drink and yell, Jessi and I would provide each other comfort and safety. One day, it came to a fever pitch, and she moved in permanently with my mom. I found myself an only child while at my dad’s.

When we were teenagers, my sister started to push me away. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and preferred to spend her time in her room. I felt shut out and more and more like an only child. In 2005, we lost our close cousin to suicide, and I almost lost Jessi to it as well. She stayed in a facility for what seemed like ages. When she was finally cleared to come home, I hugged her tight; tighter than I had ever hugged anyone before or maybe since. I was unaware, until that point, how bad her mental state was and all the trials and tribulations she had been going through alone. We had drifted apart, but I wouldn’t let us continue down that road.

Ever since then, we have been closer than most sisters I know of. Our bond has been strong, and we have both metaphorically and literally saved each other’s lives. She is my confidant, one of my rocks, my plus-one, godmother to my children, and part of the very fabric of my being.

My sister is my best friend. We regularly have sister nights, have matching tattoos (Anna and Elsa from Frozen. Their relationship in the first movie is scarily similar to ours), we live five minutes away from each other, our sons are three months apart in age, and heck, we even almost have the same glasses prescription! We did a face swap one time, and my niece (my sister’s daughter) couldn’t tell the difference. I always joke with her that we were meant to be twins, that’s how close we are. I cannot imagine my life without my sister.

I am currently pregnant with my second child, a girl. I am over the moon that my two-and-a-half-year-old son will soon have a sister of his own to grow up with. I dream that they will be able to share the same love and connection that my sister and I do. I dream that they will not face the same hardships that we did. I dream they will be able to form an unbreakable sibling bond and be there for each other, always.