"When you two grow up you'll be best friends."
I don't remember her being born or the time before it; she's always been my sister.
She was the girl who the opposing softball teams would intentionally walk because she could crush a ball over just about any fence while I sat on the bench.
She was the life of the party with the bawdiest jokes and the loudest, most infectious laugh while I tried to warm up to a cat in the other room.
She was always the one with the biggest, tenderest heart, the openest arms, the most to give.
She was the one who let mean boys treat her like pure shit because she sees the good in the rottenest of things (and because she's capable of so much intimacy and affection).
She's the one who changed all that, stopped letting people treat her badly, and grew strong and tall with a backbone the likes of which I have rarely seen.
We used to beat each other senseless as children. I used to think it was because we are so very different. Decades later I know it is because we are so very much alike, and just typing that fills me with such pride that my eyes well up.
When we were teenagers I ratted her out for sneaking out of the house at night. It was retribution, but also out of spite, because she had the courage to be bold and brave and naughty while I desperately obeyed all the rules. That she still speaks to me after this betrayal is a testament to her soft heart (though it did take a good long time).
I love that girl. And my daddy was right. That kid I used to shove and kick and hit is now my best friend.
And it's her birthday! I hope it's the best one she's ever had.