Day of Challenge: Day Six
Age: 19 Years Old
Date: 9 August 2008
I am the younger of two children. My sister is three and a half years older than me. In the course of my life, I’ve come to understand that each position in the birth order has its own benefits and problems. As the younger of two, I understand that I received more than my sister did. The problem with being the younger is that the dynamics of my family were kept hidden from me for many years. In short, I was spoiled and protected.
Only in the years since this memory have I learned the truth about how complicated a family is…and how much work it takes to hold it together. On this one night—the most important moment in my sister’s life—I really felt like I was on top of the world. My sister had a her wedding in the mountains with 100 people or so. It was a beautiful wedding. I still didn’t know too much about the guy she was marrying. I didn’t think I liked him….but that was me. I knew full well that I would hate any guy my sister married. None of them would be good enough.
I was still riding off the high of being popular in high school. I took two dates—they were sisters. I was desperately in love with the younger sister. I remember telling myself that I wanted to kiss her that night. I made sure there were several situations that would lead to a romantic atmosphere. We danced in the barn as the reception party carried on. We wandered away from the party and looked at the horses for a few minutes. We wandered the campus of the wedding. It was a wonderful evening.
We never did kiss. But I do vividly remember standing on the balcony that overlooked the reception. Below me was the refreshments table. I saw the younger sister there—talking with one of my aunts. She fit in so well. I just watched them talk—imagining what it would be like to have a wedding. What a joy it must be to be desperately in love and want to show off that love to the world. I want that. I realized, in that moment, how much I loved the idea of marriage. It mixes the joy of romantic love with the joy of family love.
As the reception carried on, I was asked to give a very specific speech. We had a table with pictures of loved ones who has passed away. I gave a two minute speech on how we knew they were there in spirit. I remember seeing my sister and understanding how much she wanted her deceased aunt to be there. I remember seeing my new brother-in-law and understanding how much he wanted his recently deceased grandma to be there.
The evening of my sister’s wedding was one of the strangest memories of my life. So much emotion for one night. I felt like I was too young to properly understand the significance of my only sibling’s wedding. It’s true. Looking back, I tried to turn it into a romantic date to sweep some girl off her feet. Regardless, that night was incredible. I danced endlessly with aunts, my dates, and my cousins. By the end of the night, I felt like I was floating on a cloud.