She had always been my “little sister.” As the oldest of four girls, Doris and I were only 16 months apart and it had been very natural to divide into two unofficial parties, the big girls and the little girls. It went on like this for many years, through the stages of crushes, clothes, and makeup. Add to this the fact that Doris and I shared a room while Joan and Karena shared one and it seemed inevitable that Joan would always be little.

Then came the day. Joan walked into the room where Doris and I were getting ready and seemed suddenly interested in makeup. It was perhaps a small thing and not necessarily a good judge of suddenly being grown up but I was struck by her interest in anything other than toys and girlish fancies.

I was planning my wedding sometime later and while I knew that things would change after I left home, I was still wrapping my mind around the fact that Joan was fast becoming a young woman. Since then, Joan has grown up in more ways than one. She’s officially the tallest of my siblings, (until the boys catch up,) and I’ve loved watching her mature in her faith, interests, and relationships.

Joan, you make me proud. Thank you for your patience with me as I came around to the fact that you were no longer a little girl and needed to stop treating you as such. In contract, I also need patience and the often reminder not to expect too much but to give you the permission to learn and grow in your own life journey. I love getting to hear your challenges and joys. Sisters truly are the best friends and I pray that we’ll continue to grow in trust and friendship.

My Sister’s Growing Up

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