A brief timeline of her life up to this point:
0-10 years old: BFFs 90% of the time. Growing up homeschooled meant that your siblings are naturally your best friends and most fervent allies. There was a lot of Laura Ingalls Wilder, a lot of exercising stick horses in the backyard (each one had a name, breed and personality. And when I say sticks I mean actual long sticks that to our very fertile imaginations, were gorgeous steeds.). We also learned how to sell watermelons around this time and peddled them door to door in a red Radio Flyer, becoming young entrepreneurs in a few summers, thanks to my father.
I was very bossy, very demanding, and Diana was the sweet blonde child who tried to accommodate everyone and thought of everything. She was always the virgin Mary in our annual Christmas pageant (trust me, these things are very hard to pull off when your cast is all of 4 people, one of whom is a toddler and the other an unreliable cousin- he was pretty crucial though, because we really needed a Joseph).
10-15: Our paths started to diverge, partly due to differing interests (me: music and orchestra. Diana: boys.), and partly due to the fact that she was rapidly becoming far, far cooler than me. For the most part we were still very close, minus the inevitable three-sister argument where there are various pairings of 2:1.
During this time, Diana also became incredibly funny and somehow, as the biggest fan alive of her comedic deliveries, I also became known as the sucker who falls for every line. To this day, this still applies. There is no one who can make me laugh harder on shorter notice than my sister.
15-21: These years weren’t the smoothest. Our paths were very different at this time. Different values, priorities, hobbies… becoming different people and with wildly contrasting ideas of what was cool, which if we’re honest, is a pretty central tenet of high school.
Still, these years were peppered with beautiful memories- family vacations in the Keys, jointly throwing a jello-shot fueled party when I came home from college and our parents were out of town (sorry Mom and Dad), occasional visits up to App as I progressed through college.
22-25: Thankfully, nothing is ever stagnant, and our relationship has continued to evolve along with our lives. Somehow we found ourselves as adults with sort of adult lives, navigating very adult issues. We realised how similar we actually are and how amazing our family is. Even though we’ve spent more time in separate countries in the last years, I have relied heavily on her no matter where I’ve been- her strength, her candid lack of bullshit, her light approach and utter defiance to ever let anything get her down.
And now, on her birthday I find myself amazed and privileged to be related to such an amazing woman.
To Diana, the middle child: Happy birthday my gorgeous sister. I could not be more proud of you: what you’ve achieved in the last few years, your indisputably tenacious attitude and absolute passion for life. You have the entire world at your feet, and they have no idea what’s coming.