My very first memory of you is still so clear. I may have only been just a few years old but I remember your very first bath at home. We were in the kitchen and I was wondering what was going on. Grandma McAfee was there and I remember her washing you and how her face looked. I remember you being so tiny and dark. I remember it happened so quickly and I asked something about your belly button. I remember your jet black hair and the cries you would make.
Fast forward a few months and I remember your chunky cheeks. Everyone used to say you had lollipops in there. I remember mom would ask me to clean your neck rolls because drool and fuzzies would be underneath and I remember exactly how it felt.
Fast forward a few years and I can see us playing dress up. Or me making you and Korie dress up. I remember asking you for so many favors and you would do them in a heart beat. You never complained or questioned them. You let me boss you around and you helped in any way you could. I remember your giggles. The same giggles you still have at 21.
I remember sleeping next to you so many nights because Korie was more independent than us. I don’t think we ever talked at night as little kids but just by being in your company, I felt safe. As we got older mom and dad would yell at us because we wouldn’t go to sleep!
Sometimes I’m reminded of you by my Leighland girl or my Eisley baby. Leighland’s cuddles at night and how she always manages to stick her hand in my mouth. And Eisley’s sweetness.
It seems like life got in the way and we drifted apart. I no longer get to see your hand slap your knee and you gasp for air as you laugh. (Then everyone is laughing by the end of it.) I no longer get to share my music with you, share my bed with you, share my clothes, my secrets, my thoughts or my dreams. When I got married and moved out, I cried a lot because I knew I was going to miss you guys. It was so hard getting used to the silence on my own because being around our family was always so loud and wild. But I’m thankful I get to see you often and I’m proud of the work you’re doing in the church.
I love that we always order the same food without meaning to and have the same interest in most clothing choices. We like the same colors and design. We have so many similarities.
You’re 21 now and I so hope you get to live out your dreams but you stay safe while doing so. I worry about you and Korie all the time and I think I have begun to boss you guys around all over again because well, life is hard. And I want you both to be so safe. So happy and peaceful. Full of hope, and guided by God. Responsible, respectable, honest, kind and loyal.
You have always been so loyal. Even if it meant going back on words you spoke while angry, you would do the right or the helpful thing. You have always had a heart made of gold. My wish for you is that you let it show. Show the world love, show them laughter. Truth, silliness, and what a servant heart looks like.
I believe in you, I love you and I would go to the depths of the ocean for you. Grandpa McAfee always told me, “be nice to your sisters, you’ll have them forever” and I always just brushed it off. But you’re 21 now. We’re adults. And life passes so quickly. Thank you for being a good aunt to my girls, thank you for letting them yell at you all day long, thank you for holding them when they need it most, thank you for all of your advice and prayers. Thank you for being you.
I can’t believe we’re in our twenties! Happy Birthday Kallie! I’m so thankful God blessed me with two sisters.