You held me not long after I was born. There are pictures of your goofy grin and the awkward way your arms cupped my body. You lost your only child status when I came along, and I have no doubt you resented me, at least a little. But you likely kissed my head and said "awww, baby sister." You were 4, and I was your baby sister.
We sat on a porch and ate wild blackberries with sugar and milk. There is a picture of us and our mouths and teeth are deep red, but we are tremendously happy. You were 5, and I was your baby sister.
You were going to school and I wasn't. I imagine I cried on mom's lap, wanting to ride the yellow bus too. You were 7, and I was your baby sister.
You sat next to me Saturday mornings, watching Thunder Cats, Sheerah, or He-Man. We ate cereal and lamented that other kids had cable and could watch cartoons anytime they wanted. You were 9, and I was your baby sister.
We were in the yard making mud pies, which were filled with grass, twigs, and maybe rolly pollies. The pies dried in the sun and we watched the process. My kids have never made a mud pie, and I need to remedy this problem. You were 10, and I was your baby sister.
Your friends came to spend the night, and I wanted to play too. But you said, "Mom, tell her to leave us alone." And I cried, "But mom, I don't have anyone to play with. It's not fair." She told me to ride my bike. You were 12, and I was your baby sister.
Your friends came to spend the night, and my crushes began. I hid in my room most of the time but snuck glances at your friends from across the table at breakfast. You were 14, and I was your baby sister.
We were in the living room, and I was jealous of your report card, your time in the woods with dad, and that you were older than me. Everything about you made me jealous. You were 16, and I was your baby sister.
You got in a car accident, and I was worried about you. I also took a small amount of pleasure in the fact that you totaled our parents' car and they were angry with you. You were 17, and I was your baby sister.
You graduated high school and began college. I was proud of you but jealous again. You were 18, and I was your baby sister.
Mom became sick and you were living in Baton Rouge. She died as we sat on her bed next to her. I'm not sure we ever talked about that exact moment. You were 20, and I was your baby sister.
You found out I was no longer a virgin and that I was drinking heavily. You were furious with me. You said girls shouldn't act that way and wait for marriage, and I told you "mind your own fucking business." You were 21, and I was your baby sister.
You danced at my wedding with a broom decorated with a dress and wig. You did it without any sense of shame, and I adored you for it. You were 22, and I was your baby sister.
You found out I was getting a divorce, and you supported me. I didn't want you to mind your own business because I needed you. You were 24, and I was your baby sister.
You found out you were going to be an uncle, and you were happy. You were 25, and I was your baby sister.
We had both finally found the love of our lives and had children. You were 27, and I was your baby sister.
My family was in the middle of Hurricane Katrina, but I still had cell service. I called you and told you the water was coming into the house, and I thought we might die. You remained calm and told me you loved me. You were 30, and I was your baby sister.
I had Trent, and you sent me poems, stories, and videos about Down syndrome. You told me I was chosen for Trent. You became an advocate for people with Down syndrome. You were 33, and I was your baby sister.
My family went to Disney with your family, and I remembered how much I liked having you as a brother. You were 37, and I was your baby sister.
Your sadness overtook you. You were 42, and I am your baby sister.