Remember that time you were babysitting me and you let me eat a spider egg? I am 100% confident that any odd dysfunction I experience as an adult can be attributed to that event.
You always went first. You have led by example in every realm of your life without having an example of your own. It meant that you experienced things, often alone, and without a support system. Not only were you expected to be a leader, but you were expected to do it in a way that didn’t always work for you. You were admired and watched most of your life, by many little girls who needed to see you do it “right.”
That’s a lot of pressure for a girl. And in that pressure, I found that through the many seasons we have walked through, you have always stood in them in grace and courage – despite having no one to turn to.
And now that we are older, and we can rely on each other more – I want to thank you for not giving up. I want you to know that I see you, even though it didn’t always appear that way. Despite very difficult roads, not having the tools and resources to achieve your dreams, and the lack of a community support system, you have overcome in ways that I will always admire you for. I have watched you heal from real, deep-rooted pain. I have watched you overcome challenging circumstances. You were the first of us to actually try to be herself – the first of us to do it and pave the path for others. It was incredibly bold and brave, and the best part was – it always looked like you.
I have watched you know what I was going to learn before I even knew I was going to go through that experience. You have stood in the gap for me in more ways than not.
And I promise, you will always see me following you – even if I am not physically doing it anymore.
Your first follower (literally)