This weekend I traveled to Southern Illinois University to watch my big sister graduate with her PhD in Anthropology.
Her freakin’ P. H. D. you guys!!
I couldn’t be more proud of her, and I will always, always remember this weekend as, quite possibly, the best time I have ever had with my siblings.
Like many families with multiple children, there were times that I hated my siblings. As I am sure (no, POSITIVE) there were many times they hated me as well. Isn’t that what siblings are for?
Oh you know, that time when she flushed the toilet on purpose while I was in the shower. Thanks for that. Or that one time that my brother slammed my forefinger in the sliding glass door for the second time in 6 weeks – causing my finger nail to fall off twice in as many weeks! It is STILL jacked up, thank you very much.
Or that one time that my sister and I held little bro down and farted in his face. Ahhh, sibling love.
On Saturday in that huge arena, watching my big sister as she stood and approached the stage to receive her PhD hood and diploma, I sat next to my brother and wept. I wept tears of pride, and I have never been so proud to call her mine. My big sis, my role model, my best friend and my co-conspirator, all wrapped into one. ♥
I watched. I watched as you stood and made your way, your gown billowing behind you with your funny little hat perched just so upon your head. I watched you ascend the ramp to the stage as you wiped your tears. Not once or twice – but three times. I counted.
I listened as they called your name, my hands clenched as they handed you your diploma, and I watched as you turned so that they could place the doctorate hood around your neck.
I bounced in my seat and I clapped so hard my hands stung, as I watched you succeed with the greatest achievement of anyone in the history of our family. Ever!
You are officially the smartest person I know! I am so proud of you.
As I watched you descend the stairs of the stage, I was reminded of the times that I would sit on the toilet seat and watch you, my gaze riveted to your reflection as you applied your 1990s makeup in our Pepto-Bismol Pink joint bathroom.
I thought you were the prettiest girl I knew, and how I looked up to you. Funny how some things don’t change. Thank God the hair and makeup has.
As you took your seat, I turned to look down the row at our parents. If my chest was tight with pride, how on earth would they feel? To watch their little girl climb to the very top of that ladder. Mom’s face looked near to bursting, and I don’t think I have ever seen Papa clap so hard. We are ALL so proud.
Then I got to thinking… of all of the people in that arena, there were but TWO that get to call you sister, and I was one of them. ♥
You did it! You succeeded and if we never have another weekend like this one, I will always remember how special it was. How fortunate I am to be able to call you mine. I love you, and I am so PROUD of you! We all are.
The rest of the weekend was just as wonderful as the graduation. We talked, we laughed, we had a Game of Thrones marathon on blowup mattresses in her living room – just the three of us. It was amazing to have the sibling time. I’m thinking we should make this a thing. Something I’ve needed and I didn’t even realize it.
To those of you that are graduating this semester, whether from high school or college, or a graduate program- CONGRATULATIONS!!!