Amy.

The one who brings Verbal Spice.

We have this sense of understanding for each other that is rare and hard to come  by. We “get” each other and what I love the most is we call each other out on several things, but we also know what to say to encourage, comfort and support one another.  This however has taken years to arrive upon because for nearly a decade we didn’t understand and have the words of love to say. We are opposites: she like head to head conversations, I like heart to hearts. She would vent about customers, I vent about co-workers.  She paints her nails North Carolina blue, I paint mine classic red. She struggles with having a “gracious” attitude towards others and I struggle with letting people walk over me. With these opposites I believe we have learned and have rubbed off on each other a bit. Da Lord divinely created us and orchestrated the birth order so that we would be next to each other in age. There were times growing up I would have wished I was her older sister so I could trump every conversation…but I’m so very glad I’m the younger sister.  I love having a sister to protect and watch after me. It cracks me up hearing her ask my friends in Kansas “are you taking care of my sister?” or “are you protective over her?” It’s precious and while I roll my eyes at that, I feel loved and looked after.

Of all my five siblings I’d say that Amy and I have gone through the most (good and bad…experiences and memories) with. I’m trying to write out some of my favorite memories, but I have too many to sort out. So, I’ll go chronologically.

Age 5-6:

1. Our water bed. We shared one for roughly a year when we were five and six. Every night I remember staying up giggling while we laid caddy-cornered on the bed pretending we were on an island of some sort. I remember one night putting our sleds on the bed, lying in them and pretending we were on rafts drifting away on the ocean.

Ages 11-15.

1. Yet another sharing room memory. This now is at 561 Dublin Drive where she had a  make-up closet filled with lotions, $1 nail polish bottles and hair brushes comfortably sitting on a desk. As a younger sister I envied such a creative fortress. During the nights I would lye in bed, listening to Adventures in Odyssey and stare at her perfectly straightened up side enjoying the hamster Abby and make-up room as I starred at my Sign Language alphabet poster and Charlie Brown pictures.

2. Going to California together one summer. I vividly remember the afternoon where Amy, Kim Worrell and I made a hair mask out of sugar, flour, eggs, mayo, ketchup and everything else in the kitchen. I also remember the 30 minute showers we each had to take in order to get just some of the mask out.

3.  Running errands with mom and switching off who got the front seat. I hated sitting in the back because she would then always talk to the driver about what you wanted to and chose 103.5 for the music.

Ages 16-now.

1.  Car-dancing.

2. Late night phone conversations that usually consist of one of us having a bad day or week and calling each other for console or just an ear to listen.

3. Visiting her in Nashville during her first two years living there. I think I averaged visiting her once every 6 sixs for a long, long time. They were the best.

It tickles me seeing her now as oppose to five years ago. Five years ago she was 16 years old brushing off homework, spending 24/7  friends and working at Starbucks-not having a care in the world towards the ACT, GPA or pursuing college. Following high school she spent her days in Nashville at community college still working as a barista. That season of life transitioned her into today where she spends her weekends in the library at Vanderbilt University studying, waiting to hear from grad school. This makes me so excited to see what the next five years will be and how TODAY will benefit you in five years.

We are poles apart in personality and interests to where it would be easy to not necessarily lose contact, but more of simply not catching each other up or showing support. For being 500 miles apart and living separate lives we are pretty awesome at staying in touch. We’ve grown up to be best friends and I’m glad she was placed as my one and only older sister.

In honor of her birthday I’m adding a bit more.

I thought I knew every ounce of Amy. If she referred to a person, I know who she was talking about. I usually can tell by her tone of voice exactly what will come out. It’s  not rare for her to come in a room and just by her body language I can easily know whats coming. I’ll say, “no, we don’t want to discuss your future right now” or “ok what dramatic thing just happened in the past three minutes?” She’ll look at me, smile and drop her mouth and say, “HOW did you know!” or laugh and say “oh my gosh…I WAS going to say that.” However, during a recent trip to visit her I learned something I never knew about Amers. She has a remarkable ability to love those who most cannot. I was in disbelief. We encountered individuals who, for me, was almost impossible to tolerate. I was in shock at the patience Amy gave, the grace and love she unconditionally lent to those who, in my mind, didn’t deserve it. Selfish and shocking of me most would say (to say something didn’t deserve grace and patience)….but to this day I don’t know how Amy befriends people who show no genuine interest in her and take advantage of her. Maybe that’s my protective side coming out, but Amy has a steal power ability to love on people who most can’t. I remember sitting on her bed in silence and saying “I thought I could handle anyone….but Amy I don’t know how you do it.” She raised an eyebrow and says, “I mean…Mare, its not a big deal.” Pffffffft!

She loves me. Like, she’s kind of obsessed with me. (for those who know Amy she totally would have said that last sentence). But seriously, I know and am so confident in her love for me. While she’s changing the world, traveling, studying, being a friend and great mentor to girls in Nashville she would put anything on hold to hear how my day went. She has sat in her car at work to listen to me, she has written me cards and calls me frequently, but I feel the most loved by her when we’re together and she just wants to BE with me. She’ll sit on a couch and say, “ask me questions.” We’ll be in the car and she’ll demand me to car dance with her. She’ll ask me at home to wake up at 10am to have coffee in the living room with mom. While I don’t like waking up early in the morning, I’ll go. Once I walk in the room I hear “Mawwwwy.” As I sit down she’ll put her foot on my lap and say “foot massage me mawy.” I tend to say “I just woke up.” She smile and say “yea but its me!” She’s ridiculous. But to know your sister will wake up early to BE with you and THEN know she’ll give you a foot massage first thing in the morning…that’s love. And for me to know she WANTS to hear details about my day whether that involves getting stuck in an elevator in my apartment, pushing my car down a parking garage in the rain solo or more serious issues I feel loved. I love how she knows I’ll do anything for her, but she does the same.

She knows me and put aside her personal interest when I come to visit her in Nashville. One of my favorite weekends to this day was when I visited her for my 21st birthday this past year. I flew into Nashville and right when I got in the car she says, “Give me your wallet. I’m paying for everything this weekend.” Clearly I budgeted for the weekend and she clearly knew that I don’t do well with people paying for me. I sat in the car in silence and said, “uh what.” She smiled, so happy and tickled and said, “yup!” Then after more silence and bringing myself to say thank you she then had the entire weekend planned. Everything from the drive from the air-port to a few days later. For those that know me, I’m chill and don’t care what I do if I’m with friends I enjoy and care for. However, I do like having fun and doing something here and there. I also love one-on-one time. Like, I’d rather sit in a car with no air-conditioning simply talking to a friend and hearing stories rather than going to dinner with a large group of people. Ya I’m weird. Amy had planned for me to go to breakfast with Kimmie for one-on-one time to then hang out with just Kimmie and her finance Rafeek to THEN later meet up just the three of us for dinner. After that we’d go, just the two of us, to her house, get ready and go out with very few friends to celebrate my 21st. The entire weekend close friends and Amy loved on me so well.

I adore her. I cherish her. I get excited talking about her to others. While she’s not funny in humor she’s funny with just her being her (i.e. foot massage). She’s a woman of strength who has a passion to change the impossible. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t grown up with Amy and wouldn’t be the woman I am today if Amy and I, after growing up and moving to two different states, didn’t maintain our friendship in being best friends and sisters.

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