I have three sisters and all of our names begin with J. Anyone who knows us even a little knows that we are j's 1,2,3 and 4. I am j3 and Jill, whose birthday is today is j4.
Jill came into my life when I was just two years old so I don't remember this world without her. The picture I used for today's journal page was taken as I was leaving for my first day of kindergarten. I wonder if Jill wanted to go with me that day. We would have had a blast in the kitchen center!
My little sister and I did everything together when we were young. We laughed, we fought, and we put on countless "shows" for our big sisters and our parents. Every summer morning we made mud pies for our playhouse bakery and we spent entire afternoons pretending we were being chased by "the robbers" who were trying to harm our twin baby girls (our matching Baby Tender Loves). Somehow we always made a narrow escape in time for dinner. It was really quite magical.
Life was simple and beautiful. We had no idea how complicated things would get as we grew up. We had no idea I'd get married and move thousands of miles away. We had no idea how many months of her life Jill would spend in hospitals because of a respiratory condition. We had no idea how hard so much of it would be but looking back I see how rich it has been as well. The hardships have helped us treasure the good times and we've learned to look for beauty in unexpected places.
The most beautiful people I've known are those who have known trials,
have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.
Recently Jill and I amused ourselves one night in her hospital room by drawing left-handed portraits of each other. As you can see, we are both most definitely right-handed.
I have to say, it is amazing that she captured such a great likeness of me since she had an oxygen sensor on one of her fingers at the time. We laughed hysterically. We laughed because the drawings were so silly, then we laughed even more because we needed so much to feel joy and to be okay with life as it was just at that moment. Laughter is such a powerful weapon.
Jill, I want you to know it is an honor to walk through life with such a brave and daring girl. I am amazed at the depth of your strength and courage and the way you come through every trial with your humor and your generosity in tact. You will never know how much it inspires me when you continue to look for and celebrate the beauty that is in this world. Thank you for being my cheerleader and for always being able to make me smile. I am proud to be your sister and oh, I do love you so. -j3