I've never been the emotional type. Ask anyone. Ask my husband. I remain about as even-keeled as any person. It's not that I'm unfeeling. It's not that I don't care. It's that I just don't express it well with my body language and verbal abilities. That's just who I am.
It's only when I put pen to the page that the words make more sense. So, here goes...
From day one when you emerged into this world, you were to command attention. You felt at home on stage and took comfort in putting on a show. I would have preferred to sink into the background, content to be a wallflower. You seemed to relish in the limelight while I preferred - and tended - to be invisible. Your mind was full of creativity and spirit, whereas mine was crammed with enough logic and reason for the both of us. You seemed to improvise your words and could draw in an audience with your voice, while I resorted to the page for expression.
You were the eternal fighter, determined to keep standing for your cause no matter how right or wrong you might be. I only found my fighting spirit to be ignited by my boy, otherwise I preferred the road of less confrontation. You embraced the lighter side; I was always the planner, the worrier, and the serious one.
Even our physical appearance seemed to stand as a testament to the variety of expression - as contrasts to each other. For two people who share DNA, we looked like opposing souls with my height and your, shall we say, lack thereof. My hair was thin and straight, so yours was naturally curly and thick. You always bore the appearance of a woman, while I seemed a woman trapped in an elongated little girl's body.
There could not be two people more different than you and I. The one thing that we do share is that we've known each other longer than we've known just about anyone on Earth, save our parents. This is why this weekend seems especially bittersweet. You see, I remember you being the "new baby". This is something that so few people can say about you. I remember seeing you in the hospital and I remember when they brought you home. As the oldest sibling, it seems strange to see the "babies" growing up, but I guess it happens to us all.
Life is transitional by nature; life is full of changes. Nothing lasts forever. Children grow, they move forward in life, and they create lives of their own. We each approach these changes with apprehension, but they are part of the natural progression of life. As much as we might resist - or as much as we might want to speed up the clock - life will happen to us all in its own time.
Now, you're at the precipice of one of the biggest changes you face. I know better than anyone that life can throw you a curveball, but simply learn to adjust your stance. Learn to lean into the changing winds. Don't fight the changes; embrace them.
It's tempting to approach with fear, but know this - I have faith in you. You are a fighter. You will move forward and leave a blazing trail behind you.
So, as you enter into the advent of this next chapter of your life, be not afraid of what lies ahead. Take the hand of your new husband and prepare for the journey. Create your own home - independent of everyone else and their opinions, for this is YOUR life - and make it a place of sanctuary for your family. Spread your wings and allow the wind to carry you. Have the courage to be yourself and think independently. Embrace your spouse, but always retain a piece of all that is you. Find your own strengths and allow yourself to show them. Do not live your life solely for someone else. Don't allow anyone to tell you what to think, how to feel, and what to believe. Always keep a little bit of yourself for you.
The other thing of which you might be unaware is that I am always watching over you, rooting you on, and being one of your greatest champions. I just don't operate in the spotlight; I prefer to work in the background. I tend to get pushed to the side, but that's because I allow it; it's not because I don't care. No matter where life takes you, I will continue to watch over you, pray for you, and guide the universe in any way I can to bring all of it's blessings unto you.
I may be awkward. I might be unable to hug in a normal manner. I might not be as showy with my displays of affection towards everyone, but know that I love you more than just about anyone in your life, whether you realize it or not.
So it is with a heavy heart that I see you take those next steps. Don't let life get the best of you. I'd tell you to give 'em hell, but I know you will - more so than I ever could.
Most of all, take solace in the knowledge that you are more capable than you could possibly imagine.