This Big Sister Thing

I have three younger sisters, all of whom I adore for different reasons. Just so nobody gets jealous, I'm writing about the baby today but I'll include posts about Jenna and Chels in my blog as well. There we go, that's my disclaimer - basically meant for Jenna and Chelsea so we can avoid a jealousy fit.

Chandler Victoria is my baby sister. It doesn't matter that she's 16 now and has more wisdom than lots of people much older than her, she will always be my baby sister. Chan and I are ten years apart, but we talk to each other like there's no age gap. I go to her for advice constantly. She knows exactly how to speak to me when I'm upset and has such a genuine gentleness about her. She is really extraordinary and I always knew she was.

Even as an infant, this kid was just aware of stuff. She would gaze at my mother with knowing eyes and it always seemed clear that she was special. Not short school bus special, but Disney princess special. Okay, maybe the Disney reference was lame and not a stellar example of who Chandler is. That's part of her magic though. You have to be around this girl to truly appreciate the magnitude of her gifts. She's a wonderful person and is destined for big things in life. I expect her to be either a teacher or some type of healer. Perhaps a doctor, spiritual healer, naturopath or social worker. Regardless of the path she chooses, her spirit will spread its roots and touch all those who need it.

I may have lost some of you already and I get that. Chandler is very intuitive and when I realized this recently, it made perfect sense. Ask anyone whose heard me describe my sister and they'll agree that the words "special," "gifted," "truly individual" and "pretty much the coolest chick ever" are part of my arsenal when bragging about her. This young woman has had her share of shitty stuff in her life, but is coming through with a renewed spirit and zest for life that makes me realize anything is possible.

Lately, Chandler is my life coach and happiness guru. I ask her questions about my life all the time and she always knows the answers. Last month she made a time capsule and included her prediction for who I would marry and how the relationship would unfold. It's the little things like this that show me the tremendous amount of hope and love she has for everyone. Hope is not always an easily found commodity, especially for those who have overcome turmoil and tragedy in their lives. I'd have to say though, hope is something my family has in truckloads. Chandler was four years old when our mother died and although she's had some struggles, she remains one of the loveliest people I know.

When my mom was sick, I came home from a party one night, turned down my covers and found my tiny baby sister snuggled in a ball in my bed. Her blonde hair covered her face and she was clothed in only a diaper. She was just a toddler at the time. I got into bed beside her and watched her sleep, knowing that one day soon she would be without a mother. My heart broke for the first time in my life.

The next morning I told my mother who I had found in my bed. Mom looked at me with a softness in her eyes and adjusted the silk scarf on her head and said, "She was in your bed because she knows you're going to take care of her Crys. She's getting ready for when I'm gone." I have never forgotten this moment. There are bigger things in life and powers that shape our lives when we need them most. Somehow my baby sister knew at only three years old that she would grow up without a mother and would depend on me - only 14 at the time - to raise her as our mother would have. My mom and I had a silent agreement that morning and it's a promise I will keep for eternity. In this life and forever, I will try to show my sisters who our mom was and raise them with the dignity and strength I know she had. Being a big sister is perhaps the most important job I'll ever have and nothing makes me happier.


Anonymous said...

I am bawling my eyes out. I always worry about the girls, how they are doing, do they need anything? I'm so glad you are there for them, sometimes I forget that they have a mother in you. I love you for that.

Anonymous said...

Wow!! again you got me!! The blanks of your life that I always wondered about, are now being filled in. xo

Anonymous said...

Wow Crystal, I didn't know about your chat with mum. This is so beautiful and I thank you so much for writing it. You are such a special person, really, it's amazing.

I love you big sister!

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful...

Anonymous said...

Hey sister it's Chels. This was beautiful and I am still crying. I love our little sister, and I really hope things get better for her. I love you so much.