Only one more day, and then I get to be with my sister Gwen, one of my favorite people in the entire world. We talk on the phone almost every day and keep in touch through blogs and facebook and emails, but there is nothing like being able to having her right there next to me on our adventures. I love talking to her and laughing with her and just hanging out with her.
But things haven't always gone that smoothly between us. We're not even two years apart in age, so we often got thrown together when we were kids. Our parents would make her include me in many of her adolescent activities, and I felt as if I was trying to come out from under her shadow all through high school. We argued about who had more ice cream, stole each others clothes and spent a lot of time trying to outdistance each other. We were your typical sisters.
I'm really not sure when all that began to change, but somehow the unbelievable statement "you don't want to be around each other now, but you'll be best friends when you're older" became a reality. Maybe it was while I was away for a year and a half as a missionary for our church and she was my most faithful correspondent. Or maybe it was when we began talking about books and movies and found out how much we have in common. Or maybe it was in the six months I lived with her after graduating college when we had time to get to know each other, not as little girls, but as the unique adults we had become.
Living so far away from Gwen isn't easy. Although we see each other at least three times a year, it never seems like enough. I can't wait to pick her up at the airport and give her a huge hug. I want to stay up all night and find out about everything she hasn't been able to tell me about over the phone. I want to see her new hair cut. I want to hear her voice in person. I want to look into her eyes to see for myself that she is well and happy and still my big sister.
God really knew what he was doing when he gave me my sister. It might have taken me a few years to figure it out, but I wouldn't trade her for anyone (or anything) else.