This weekend my sister married her boyfriend of 7 years.... one of the most exciting and emotional days of my life. Being a groomsman I stood at the front of the church as my dad walked her down the aisle with tears rolling off of my face. I really had not dreamed that it would have been as emotional as it was for me but when I returned to Virginia and was still crying yesterday I realized just how important family is to me and how important family should be to everyone.
I've found myself thinking of my sister a lot and, as weird as it may seem, my first memory is when I was 3 years old and Kari was born. I remember being in the hospital and Lori (my other sister) and I had these red stickers that said "I have a new sister" and I remember, for whatever reason, I decided that I wanted to see what happened if you stuck 2 stickers together and Lori seemed interested too.... so, that's what we did.... and then when my mom told us (I'm pretty sure in a joking manner that I didn't understand then) that we weren't able to go back in and see Kari since we don't have our stickers..... I cried..... alot....... I don't know why that memory is still in my mind but it is.... and I can't say that I remember much other about her being born other than that. Kari has always been a source of happiness in my life in one way or another.... whether it was her just being there as a really good friend over the last 10 years or so or back in our younger days when my dad was in a hospital bed in the living room from his motorcycle wreck and my mom hears Lori and myself running upstairs yelling "Mom, mom... Kari's in the washer and she turned it on".... Of course my mom didn't believe us until my dad yelled back that he heard the well pump running..... we all still laugh about that. And I'm sure that Lori and I did all kinds of needless harassing of Kari but all 3 of us were always close.... and we still are. It's hard living a few states away because I can't hang out with them like we used to but it makes the times that we can hang out that much more fun and special.
I think its kind of funny how life never seems to go the way we expect it to. Kari is the youngest of us 3 and always was noted as the "crazier" one.... The one who just floated around looking for trouble -- not in a criminal kind of way but in the way a kitten does..... And of course Lori and I are both still as single as they come and Kari is the one that's married and still the head gymnastics coach at the Greensburg YMCA. She showed us, I guess!
It's so hard to explain emotions such as these.... as Kari walked down the aisle I cried.... when she danced with my dad, I cried..... I just cried a lot..... being so happy for someone so close to you is overwhelming.... Of course she's still with us and always a part of our family but now we have to share her. I'll admit, John is a great guy to share her with if she has to be shared..... but she still is -- and always will be -- my baby sister.
Congratulations, Kari and John! I love you both and you will continually be in my prayers as I ask God to bless your marriage and your home and hopefully someday soon I'll be "Uncle Bob" and you two will be great parents!