Two months ago these two sibs moved away. I was pretty used to having my brother gone, seeing that he served a two year mission after a year of college, so he hasn't been around much. I miss him, but my sisters are a different story.
My mom called for this impromptu family photo shoot just before Wendy left for grad school. We are very close. She and I have a unique relationship - the one of us having the majority of the kids in the family and the other without kids yet. We love late night hang-outs and quick trips to the store to get out of the house. She balances me well. She keeps me in the know. She is the aunt I will never be. She is sarcastic and emotional and honest. She shares my sports interests and my son's desire to perform. She is brilliant and beautiful.
We could barely smile in the previous pic - this is us wiping away tears 30 sec later. We had a tough goodbye, even though we'd known for many months that it was coming.
When another little sister (I have three) Ash told us 3 weeks ago that she was pregnant (!) and her hubby got a job out of state (!!) I was a little stunned.
I have never seen someone put together a move so quickly. Before that first weekend was over she had secured the best deal for a moving van and had emailed the whole extended family a detailed packing schedule and moving plan.
I still don't know if I was prepared to pull up yesterday to her driveway to say goodbye and see the truck sitting there.
It was bizarre to see the empty apartment. This fantastic fireplace where she decorated for each season so tastefully with decorations bought at small town boutiques. This room where she hosted dinner parties, birthday parties, girls nights, and book clubs. This room where we gathered and laughed and cried and drew together as sisters.
I helped her pack up her little kitchen, where we put in boxes all the things she has used for years of feeding her family. The kitchen that contributed to her embracing fully her role as homemaker and mother. Her kitchen, where she has made thousands of meals, hundreds and hundreds of cupcakes (she had a little business) and dozens of decorated cakes. This kitchen where she prepared food to show her friends and family her love for them.
Ashley, I will miss your goodness, your positive attitude, and the way you are the first to show up and help another. I love how you love your husband and nature and Cyprus High. I admire your organization, your baking talents, your sense of fashion and attention to what's right and proper. Thank you for all you have done to be an example of righteousness to me.
Rosebud doesn't really understand much, but I hope she doesn't forget about her sweet little cousin. And I'm SO excited for another baby in the family. Thank goodness for blogs and texting.
Change is hard, but a sister's love is forever.