When Your Sister Is Your Unsung Hero


She said that of all the models in her world, I was it.

That took weeks to sink in.

In an ironic twist, it was she that saved me.

She always found a way to understand; to justify for my sake.

I had been so self-absorbed to believe that the universe targeted me. How easy it is to play the victim card.

I called her that night, stewing in a frothy brew of rage. I sent steam shooting through the receiver, addressed it to another area code.

She listened carefully to the superfluous sermon, though she’d heard it so many times before. She even participated in the redundant analysis of dead ends and wrong turns.

But still she could see past the exterior shell crafted by hard lessons learned.

Despite every strain I’d put on our relationship, her reaction was forgiveness. And how beautiful it was to see that even though I failed to protect her, she was still so full of grace.

Without realizing it, she had turned the tables. I had found a role model of my own in her exceptional capacity to love.

She asked me why I was so quick to hide my passion when it was what separated me from the ordinary and kept me from a conformist’s routine.

And, understanding my resistance, she assured me that my intensity was not a flaw, but a gift yet to be unwrapped or appreciated.

She told me those who feared my reckless nature were undeserving, and what a shame it would be to give a black, Tahitian pearl to someone who did not treasure it.

So for her sake I awoke an appreciation for the things I could not control; learned to stop blaming inadequacies that didn’t even exist.

Because I wanted to be her version of me. I wanted to be worthy of her pedestal.

I had believed I was an alien among a sleeping planet; a lioness with clipped nails and rotting teeth.

But she said that surely my vision was skewed, for I was a luminous moon howled at by the wolf with a heart of fire.

And so I wanted – needed – her to know that all of the things she believed of me were equally true of her.

She had grown weary of a status quo, and unknowingly nursed within her a phobia of she.

So I told her not to be so quick to condemn herself.

That her temper exuded passion; that her honesty was refreshing.

I said she was a sublime phenomenon – an exquisite rose of scarlet petals and razor-sharp thorns.

And I told her that those who feared to be pricked were unworthy.

I begged that she never let the blaze in her eyes dwindle, because what a shame it would be to keep that inferno hidden from the Earth.

And I asked her to forgive herself; that the way the world had treated her wasn’t her fault, but a reflex of jealousy and manipulation – 

By lost children who did not yet understand themselves.

And like a weight lifted, my shoulders are no longer sore.

The air around me no longer sour because my confessions are free, lingering no more.

The days just grow warmer.

And, knowing I have an extraordinary girl rooting for me,

I can sleep peacefully in my own arms,

Because I know what it is to be loved.

For the first time, I see that things are going to turn out just fine for the both of us. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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