Ode to My Crazy Older Sister



You wouldn’t know it to look at her. At least, not at first. That beneath the exterior beat the heart of a creative. It happens that way sometimes. That the most talented people don’t look like they should have so much inside them. But then you take in the color, the style, the gleam in her eye. And you know.

She looked it in high school. She wore sweatshirts and comfy clothes. She let her tight, ridiculously curly hair frizz and had it pulled back in a bun most days, because who the hell has time to deal with that mess when there’s a life to live and things to make? She started with stick figures. She drew little comics about her day, or random things that happened in her life. She was always doodling on anything handy. I remember her drawing stick figure dioramas on the bulletins at church. So, of course, I had to do it too. I sucked at it, because I can’t draw.


She kept it up. She became disciplined. She became fashionable. An artist’s fashion. She majored in art in college. I remember the first mug she gave me, from her pottery class. I was honored and in awe. I loved that mug. I remember the day someone inadvertently broke it. I was stoic until everyone left, when I completely broke down. Having that mug was like having part of her there with me, even when we weren’t talking because of the drama I created.

She’s graduating this year and I am so insanely proud. She’s so much better than she was before and I know she’ll get better still.


I was always so jealous of her, because she was so talented. She’s the Pied Piper. Put the woman in a room of children and suddenly there’s fun and excitement and they all want to listen because that’s who she is. She knows how to have fun, and how to make sure everyone else has fun too. And sometimes, she’s wrong (as siblings are wont to be), but you have to ride along because you know you’ll probably have a good time if you let go of what you want to do and ride her train for a while.

She’s never been able to draw me (that I know of; her one attempt that I can recall made me look like a lycan). It used to make me mad, until I realized that I’ve never been able to write her. I’ve tried. But there’s something so indefinable about Brianna Elizabeth. You can’t put words to it. You can’t even try. She’s the life of a party. She’s an artist in every way. She’s the ying to my yang, and I never really realized it. I take everything personally and have superficial spurts of anger. Most things roll of her back, but if you make her angry, you should be very afraid. I’m super dramatic because I create drama; she’s dramatic in a completely different way because she’s fun. She knew how to express her mind way before I did and she sees a different world than me.


I’m so grateful that she’s my older sister; that I get to know her and that she’s always been there for me. With awkward hugs and ways to take my mind off whatever personal drama I was creating…er…experiencing.

So here it is. Everything I could never say to her, because I don’t know how. How do you tell someone that you admire so much, that you don’t understand at all…how do you explain how much you love them? This blog is my only writing discipline, so this is my space to say it.

Brianna, I love you. I miss you. I’m ecstatic every time you call and I can’t wait to see you when I come home. I hope that you have the happiest of birthdays. I’ll call you later.


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