Tag Archives: sisters

Rebecca Kathryn

…or Kate as the world knows her.

She is my sister-in-law, my husband’s little sister.  (Incidentally, it’s pretty great when you marry an amazing man who comes with an incredible family who loves you like their own!)

Truthfully, I started this post to push through some writer’s block.  Kate has always been an “emotional portal” of sorts for me.  You see, I’m not an overly emotional person.  I’ve been asked before if I ever cry.  I’ve been likened to a robot and had my heart compared to that of a cow.  Clearly, I’m not very sentimental.

There are many times when I desperately need to “lose it” and can’t.  When I know I’d feel better to ugly Oprah cry for a few minutes.  When I need to feel awake or alive or you know, human.  Whenever I’m really stuck, I can think about Kate and it takes no time at all for my rusty tear ducts to get to work, for the words and inspiration and feeling and life to come back.

My first memory of Kate was in the den of her parents’ home in Columbus, GA.  She was reenacting some scene from Drop Dead Gorgeous.  She was just as silly and beautiful and fun when I met her at 16  as she is now.  I don’t know anyone else like her.  She is this rare breed of fun and spontaneity mixed with thoughtfulness and sensitivity.  She is sassy and passionate as the day is long, but she is the most tenderhearted and loyal friend you could hope for.

I turned 33 a few weeks ago.  Kate surprised me with a birthday cake made from scratch.  If you don’t know her you can’t possibly appreciate that sentence.  This is the girl who just a few years ago had to call her friend to ask how to make boxed mac n’ cheese.  It’s like THAT.  She made me a two-layer homemade cake with homemade icing, y’all!  It was the sweetest and messiest gift ever.  As I sat across the kitchen table eating cake and laughing with her, my heart was full.

Kate is most known for 2 things:  dancing and laughing.  She’s been dancing for 20+ years and any time I see her on (or off) stage dancing, my heart leaps.  She’s a Rouse, so she’s been laughing from birth, I feel certain.  That laugh is unmistakeable and infectious!  It melts away self-consciousness instantaneously.

She’s one of the only people I’ve never tired of.  I’m always happy to see her and always sad to see her go.

Seems to be a bottomless ocean of love I have for that girl…even if she does keep me waiting and is always dressed better than me.

She makes me better.  She makes me grateful for life in all its beauty and complexities.  She’s one I could never do without.

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Who is home to you?
Who is your “emotional portal”?
Who brings light with them on your darkest of days?
Who are the people in your life that make you feel alive?
Who are the ones who make you want to be more yourself than you’d ever dare to be otherwise?

Those are your Kates.  There can’t be many.  Probably just a handful.

In fact, one is enough to make the poorest soul rich.

rouse gallery (220 of 242)

The Constant

My sister, Trish, and I haven’t always been as close as we are now.

We use to fight over everything: who got to ride shotgun, who got to wear Mom’s earrings or whose turn it was to have a friend sleep over.

When I was 3 she convinced me to touch the electric fence in our backyard. When I was 8, I was insanely jealous that she got to go to the Tiffany concert and I didn’t.  (Can you blame me?!!)  Over the course of my entire childhood, my sister would find it amusing to sit on me, pinning me down and then proceed to pop my toes until I could break free.  She still thinks this is funny though it wasn’t and still isn’t.

I was forever blackmailing her and tattling on her. (In my defense, she was always getting herself into trouble. I was just using her rebellion to my advantage!) She was always trying to boss me around and I was always shouting “you’re not my mom!” at her.  It was a rocky decade or so.

Fast forward to 1993.

A shift happened when Trish left our home at the time in Mons, Belgium for college in Abilene, Texas.  I actually missed her! And I realized my need for my sister in her absence more than I could have known in her presence.  I was 13 and my parents were on the verge of divorce.

Fortunately for me, she came home to Georgia when they actually did file for divorce a year later.  That was the summer before I started high school in a new town.  Trish and I shared a room in an apartment with my mom. It was the first and only time in our entire lives that we shared a room.  (Luckily that didn’t last long!) For the next four years, I would have my sister by my side helping me navigate through the drama and friendships and relationships that are in full effect for any teenager.

Trish took me to freshman open house and dropped me off at band camp.  She attempted to teach me how to drive stick shift (which incidentally almost sent her into premature labor with my nephew)!  We ate pineapple pizza at crazy hours and watched the same movies over and over together.  She was always in the stands to cheer me on playing soccer and conducting half-time shows.

During that same season we watched our father remarry and our mother begin to date.  Both surreal experiences, I might add.

We survived it together, me & Trish.  When the foundations of our family began to be re-negotiated in every conceivable way, our sisterhood was the thing that remained.  It was the constant in the tumultuous equation we were forced to solve.

We stood beside each other on our wedding days.  Trish married an Army officer and moves every few years all over the country.  (In fact, he deployed for Afghanistan on the day of my wedding! What a bittersweet day that was for her!) We don’t see each other very often and don’t get to “do life” together now that we are adults.  But she remains a constant.  She’s my first phone call when I need another mother’s advice.  She’s who I want on the other end of the line when I have a problem I can’t solve or a crisis to weather.

I now have two daughters.

Lucy & Penny are 25 months apart to the day. They play and laugh and hold hands. They push and grab toys from one another. They vie for their parents attention and affection.  They hurt each other and cry and hug to make up.

I am smart enough to know it’s going to get harder before it gets easier for them.  They will likely slam doors and say hateful things to one another (especially in middle school, I predict)!  They will compare themselves to the other in academics and sports and appearances.  They will be each others’ source of comfort and frustration, seemingly simultaneously at times.

For as much as they will change and grow and make their own choices, it is my forever prayer that they always play and hug and fight and laugh and cry together.  Because they are sisters.  And, praise God, there’s no changing that.