The other day someone mentioned that their youngest child would be 21 in December, and I smiled and replied, “oh, my sister Amanda will be too.” Suddenly it hit me like a train, grabbing me in its grip and pulling me along. I never thought I would miss so much of her life. She is an adult. My little Amydada is an adult. How in the world did she get there? She felt like mine when she was born and somehow I missed all the in between parts.
See, being the oldest, they have all become mine in someway or another.
My brother Josh just got married to a precious, beautiful girl named Jordan. He is married now and I have missed his life, he was my Joshy when I was twelve and he was five. He drove me crazy, playing tricks on me while I babysat him. He was my Joshy when I was 17 and he was ten. He stayed by my side, protecting me from a boy who had broken my heart. And now as he and Jordan set off on their lives together, I am not there to watch as God leads them on their journey.
My sweet Mindy and I were inseparable, people thought we were twins, she was my best friend. We played Barbies together, we dreamt together, we jumped on beds together and rode our bikes everywhere. She is married now with three adorable children. When on God’s green earth did that happen? Somewhere between bike riding and July 7th, 2011, Mindy became a wife, a mother, a gourmet cook, an extraordinary writer and actor.
My sister in law, Lynn was just 10 when I met her. I remember her telling me in no uncertain terms that her brother would be coming home to live with her after he finished college. I remember little bits, flag core and graduation, her wedding. But I missed all the parts that made her into the woman she is today. All the parts that led her to a house with an amazing husband and a bunch of cute kitties.
My siblings are all living out their dreams and I am missing it all. Their entire lives ahead of them. Their dreams still out there and they are reaching for them; big, extraordinary dreams, floating just ahead of them. I feel jealous, so very, very jealous.
The girl who jumped off a 90 ft water fall on a dare from a boy who ended up becoming her husband. The girl who stayed up half the night with her best friend, making up dances for their cheerleading squad. The girl who lay on a blanket in the Grassy Bowl, looking up at the clouds and seeing her dreams in them, close enough to reach out and grab. The girl whose smile radiated to every corner when she entered the room, who made friends with everyone, who never cared about her weight, or what size clothes she wore. Who went to class in her pj’s, hiked through Pocket Wilderness, jumped in the freezing cold water with her clothes on. Who did the highest bungee jump in the world at Victoria Falls. Who got in the car and traveled on a whim to see her friends, family and in laws.
Who is she, where is she? How many years have passed her by as she struggled with a disease that no one could put their finger on. When did this become her journey? And how did she miss all these pieces of Lynn, Mindy, Joshy, Suzy-Q and AmyDaDa’s journey too?