“There were never such devoted sisters”

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So, here it is folks. The cheesiness. What? From you, Genny? Never. HA HA. Okay seriously though. This post will be cheesy but not in a corny joke kind of way – more of in a “aww, how sweet!” one. Hopefully at least. This post is about my sister. 

Today is her birthday. Her 30th birthday to be exact. How sad! Not because she gets to leave her 20s behind. No, she lived them well and they were filled with joy, love and adventure. I think it’s sad because now we are not in the same decade of life anymore…you see, we are about 9 years apart and we only get a small window of time to be what I feel like is “closer” in age. And what a glorious window it was. 

Ah, but I am overjoyed at the same time because, what I have found is, with each passing year that goes by, Katie and I grow closer & closer. Heck, by the time we kick the bucket, we’ll probably be Siamese twins…metaphorically of course. 

Katie – this post is for you (and for Mom so she can read it and cry and be a bit proud of the two woman she raised, again hopefully). You are not just my sister. You are my friend. You are my idol, my hero, my angel. The best teacher. The best partner in crime. One of the few on this good earth that not just acknowledges my humor but actually thinks I’m funny because, in fact, our humor is quite kindred. You are the best ab workout – whenever we are together, my belly hurts from laughing so hard. Our identical double chin, squinty eyed, flared nostril laughter makes me feel warm inside, and a little less ridiculous for the having aforementioned laughing habits. Solidarity in numbers. You are the best confidant. The person I trust more than anyone to look me in the eyes and tell me what I need to hear even if and especially if it is not what I want to hear. I can be quite stubborn, you know. 

You inspire me. You always have. I know when we were younger, I wasn’t the coolest to have around all the time. Always pestering you and your friends when you just wanted to chill with them and not have to cart around your annoying little sister. But, from what I can remember, you did it anyway and rarely, if ever, complained. You are the most patient human being I have ever met and will probably ever meet. From waiting for Bryan to propose for 5 years…5 people…5! (jk Bryan, you know I love you) to dealing with me since I learned how to talk, you never rush life or others. You are steady & strong. You’re kind of like my missing half, actually, for those are two things I am not. We are so so similar in a lot of ways but we also compliment one another. Your sweet and courageous soul gets along quite well with my impatient, fiery, and (I like to think) vivacious one. We are like Jane & Elizabeth from Pride & Prejudice. Or Joe & Amy from Little Women. I learn so much just from being around you. You help me slow down, see life in a different way. 

There’s more. You are the definition of a Proverbs 31 woman. As cheesy as it is, it’s true. You are gentle and kind BUT you know how to stand on your own two feet and you always have. You stand up for the things you believe in, even when it’s hard and others don’t agree with you. You are the reason I want to help and serve others, because I first saw your desire to serve. Your passion for I.C. sparked something in me. Who knows. Maybe it was because I wanted to be just like my big sister. But, I really think you would have inspired me even if you hadn’t been. You wear your heart on your sleeve and the passion it gives off is contagious. Getting to serve with you in Haiti was probably one of the greatest experiences of my life. And always will be. Getting to watch you shine and do what God created you to do in medicine was incredible. If I was half as talented and smart as you, I would gab about it all the time but the thing that makes you so wonderful is that you don’t. Your humility baffles and inspires me. What a joy it is to share life and the Lord with you!

And that brings me to my last point (though, let the record show I could go on forever). You, as a woman walking so in time with the Spirit, brought me to a relationship with the Lord. I know I have told you this before, or at least I hope I have, but you will never understand how much it meant to me. How the tough love you gave me in a car in Greenville after I had come home from Pioneer Plunge on a serious camp-Jesus high rocked me. I was mad at you when you said it but you were right. If I wanted a life set apart for the Lord then I had to give up on those selfish desires I was holding on to. My life has never been the same because you helped me see how beautiful and crazy and wonderful and mysterious a relationship with the King can be. Thank you a thousand times over. In heaven, if we get to share a bunk bed…I’ll let you have whichever bed you want. That’s how much I love you. And I really love the top bunk. 

So, Kathryn Erin (Parshley) Barber, I love you to the moon & back. I hope and pray that you have a day that isn’t just wonderful and joyful but that is full of reminders of how much you are loved. I can’t wait to, God-willing, grow old with you and live near you so our kids can be besties. Our if I never have kids, see you all the time anyway because I am wealthy enough to have house near you and travel the world bringing you and your family awesome international gifts. The prospect of having Thanksgiving and Christmas with all our families makes me giddy! I pray that we are always close and that as the years go by, we will only get closer. I pray that through trial and through joy we will be there for each other. To cry and hold each others hands and pray for one another when things don’t go the way we planned. To dance around like idiots and flare our nostrils in time with our laughter when God blesses us with times of happiness. 

I’ll be there for you – you’ll be there for me to. 

Yes, I did quote friends. I found it appropriate for our family. And again, happy frikkin birthday dude. May your 30s be the bee’s knees. See you there in 9 years. 🙂 

LOVE LOVE LOVE, your sister. 

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