Leanne is my baby sister. My little pooh bear. Not only is she gorgeous, she is inspiring in so many ways – her generosity, her compassion, her way of making us all laugh with seal barks…
It’s incredible – we’ve done almost everything together. Literally, as far back as my memories stretch we’ve been side by side, partners-in-crime… For those of you without a little sister, it’s hard to describe what it’s like. It’s like this invisible thread – when she feels pain, I feel it too. When she laughs, I’m usually right there laughing. When we’re away from each other, I miss her terribly. And when we’re hanging out, I have the best time!
- Play piano duets – not that I recommend it, but you can.
- Experiment on whether a person can be folded into a sleep sofa. In this case, yes – but it doesn’t go over too well. And that’s all the cousins’ fault, especially Ryan!
- Always have the best beach volleyball doubles partner
- Count on someone to dance with you when no one else is brave enough
- Have someone drive you to work for 3 months when you can’t
- Always have a concert buddy, one that gets you on tour buses and backstage– and pushes you to meet your rockstar boyfriend Dave Grohl
- Build the perfect fort in the woods
- Share the embarrassment of cruising the Cali coast in an Aztec
- Have someone to beat in Monopoly
- Have a cookie decorating assembly line
- Share secrets you wouldn’t tell anyone else in the whole world – which we used to do as little kids in these special tents on our beds…
I was in an “explorers club” and somehow I convinced (that’s another good thing about a little sister, you have someone to convince to do things) Leanne and Megan to join. At that time, they were kind of a package deal.
The trip was back-packing on the AT. Everything went wrong – a broken tent, a boy named Toodles who teased them without mercy and peed by their tent, brown leaves/grey rocks, pasta that turned into paste, and backpacks that weighed a ton. Leanne (and Megan) were miserable. I think before the weekend was over, camping was sworn off forever.
So imagine my surprise when Leanne comes to me after one year of dating some guy named Gary, all smiling and excited about spending their anniversary on Assateague Island. Not in a hotel or bed and breakfast or RV… but CAMPING. Camping?!!
And that’s when I suddenly knew… This wasn’t just some guy, this was the one. The love of her life. The scary, overwhelming, spine tingling kind of love of her life.
I’ve been blessed to be with Leanne and Gary since that fateful, and drunken, meeting at Portside – and even if you guys try to get rid of me, I plan on being with you for all the happy years to come. Gary, I always tell people you are exactly the brother I’ve always wanted. Except you’re a year younger and I always wanted an older brother. But no matter – I couldn’t be more excited to have you in our family!
And no matter what happens good and bad, Leanne’s always been there for me, and I’ve always tried to be there for her. While you now have a new partner in crime and someone else to blame for bad camping experiences, always know that I’m just a phone call or special sister ESP vibe away.
One last thing… Leanne loves tradition, so before we raise our glasses, we need to honor one that the new couple holds very dear….
Turn to the person next to you – raise your hand – and high five!
Now… let’s raise a glass –
To Suela and G; here’s to a love that grows stronger each day, a life that blooms bigger than a sunflower, and a life-long dedication to big bowls of ice cream followed by very loud high fives!!