-Do you have any siblings?- Is one of the most common ice breaker questions in a get-to-know-you conversation, but it always makes me cringe a bit. To be honest with you all, I never know how to answer it.
It usually goes something like this: “I do, I do have a sister, an older sister. She is a littler older than me, 9 years…She is actually just from my father’s side. I am my mom’s only kid. But she is like my sister-sister.” I tend to never use the words half-sister. I think my husband Ricky, stopped using them too, to refer to my sister, Stephanie. They have a connotation of being less than a real sister, and I don’t see my sister of being less than a sister for being just from one side of my parents. Maybe a different type of sister than the typical picture perfect sister, but not less than.
Although, yes, I only grew up seeing her only on weekends and school breaks, she didn’t mind playing Barbies with me. Contrary to most people I know, my sister and I, we never argued growing up…probably those 9 years in between. We just played and had fun.
My sister is the most tender-hearted person I have ever met, she forgives in a way that Jesus would be proud, her love is patient and kind. She thrives when things get hard, and she has a way of being humble that I will never understand. She is intelligent like no other, and she is so gorgeous!!
The thing is, my sister Stephanie, never cared standing in the background and letting me shine. She was okay with letting me have the bubbly personality, and be the “center of attention”, because I was the baby. She was sweet, and loving, and patient, and tender-hearted. She supported me, and loved me. Without envy, or jealousy; my sister has always been one of my biggest supporters from backstage and for years I never realized.
I had the bigger sisterhood I could have ever needed in my “half-sister”…I have learned so much from her, she is not embarrassed to let me learn from her mistakes, her past; or her victories, her present. She prays for me and Ricky, for our future, she is genuinely happy when something good happens to me, she gives me the most genuine advice, and she has the most unconditional love to give me.
Steph and my brother-in-law, Luis; are now giving Ricky and me, one of the biggest presents we could have ever dreamt of, they are now making us aunt & uncle to a precious little girl…Gabriela.
Thanks, Tete, for being the best sister I could have ever imagined. Thanks for letting me shine, thanks for always walking right next to me, for never letting me fall, for helping me grow with Jesus, and for always being a phone call away.