Julianna is my sister, though not by blood. I don’t know what it feels like to have a female sibling, but I can’t imagine that the relationship would be any richer than what I share with Jules.
She moved into my life just before turning eight. I can’t even remember what the world was like before she arrived. We met in Primary at church. I was so intrigued by her long blond hair, charming freckles, and frilly smocked dresses. Soon after, she invited me to her big birthday slumber party where we slept outside in a real tent, talking and laughing through the night until her mom made us Mickey Mouse pancakes the next morning. Her baptism followed– the first one I ever attended– and it touched my heart. From that point on we were sisters for ever.
Julianna equals fun. This is a girl who I repeatedly scaled the Stake Center wall with in our Sunday dresses. Who I rode my bike with to Pioneer Chicken for fries or Rexall Drugs for Fun Dip candy and Ring Pops. Who I climbed trees and telephone poles with until we scraped up our knees, always comparing the scabs afterward. Who I went to my first Stake Youth Dance with and giggled on the phone later about the endless amounts of boys. Over the years, I’ve watched her do the craziest, most amazing things, sometimes having the privilege of assisting/accompanying her. She doesn’t know the meaning of the words “no” or “can’t.” She paves her own path and I admire that with all my heart.
She’s also faithfully shared my triumphs and griefs. She was the first one that I told about how much I loved Colin and the one whose counsel I treasured most when trying to decide whether or not to take Maddie. She has cried with me, stroked my hair when I’ve thought the world was coming to an end, and baked chocolate chip cookies with me late into the night, just because she knew it would make me feel better. It always did.
We’ve only had two arguments in all these 20-some-odd years. A pretty good record considering how much we’ve changed over time. I think that’s because we always know where we stand with one another. We hold nothing back and feel comfortable with the truth.
I am beyond grateful for her love and support. The list of all her kind acts of service over the years is endless, as you can imagine. But of late, I’m most deeply appreciative of her willingness to scrub my toilet for me, without being asked, just so I could maintain my (fraudulent) appearance of an orderly home. I can’t thank her enough for her generosity in treating my children like they were her own, caring for them, especially Warren, whenever I’ve needed help. And most recently, I am beyond touched that she (and her wonderful husband, Danny) would coordinate a million things at the drop of a hat to be with us on the eve of Madeline’s major surgery. All I needed then was for her to hold my hand and tell me that everything was going to be alright. And that’s just what she did. If that’s not a sister, then I don’t know what is.
Today is her thirty-somethingth birthday. During this month, all those years ago, we became (True)BFFs. It’s hard to believe that so much time has passed. And yet she is every bit, if not more, a major part of my life.
Happy Birthday, Juli-nana! I love you bunches and bunches.