I was three, still basking in the attention of my doting parents.
“Baby of the house”.
I can’t tell if anyone gave me the tag of “last born”.
I didn’t notice any difference in mummy’s physical appearance. All I knew was that on this certain May 12 a little one was brought home as part of the family. I had lost my “baby of the house” tag forever. Then the words “last born” surfaced.
Hardly a cry baby (my forte).
Slowly. Quickly. You grew.
Strong. Healthy. Laughing. Happy. A very active playmate.
We used to run with me giving you some “steps ahead” and letting you win.
We used to “ride” that faulty bicycle where you would sit and I would push you around.
You came back from your nursery school on this day with a hole in your lower lip and I remember how frantic dad and mummy were and how scared I was for you. Word reaching us was that you had bitten your lower lip. You were oblivious to all the fuss going on around you.
You had some quite scary exciting experiences. You suffered a lot of physical hurt and pain. How I felt for you!
We used to go to school together (late). We started this new school where they used to drop us off morning and afternoon. I remember when we told dad we no longer wanted to be dropped off that we would rather walk to school and back.
You were inquisitive. Bold. Daring.
You were strong! You have always had character! Guts!
You asked questions on any and everything. You were as sharp as a razor (still are). Everyone loved you.
You shared everything you had with me. Whenever you were given anything even before saying “thank you” the first words out of your mouth were always “what of Ehi?”
You kept changing schools. I didn’t know why at the time. When we started going together you knew stability.
We were in church drama and choir groups. Did almost everything together. We were almost always together.
How we were beaten for accepting gifts and food from strangers!
“You look so much alike” was a constant sentence.
We fought sometimes (for the life of me I can’t understand why). We argued incessantly at times.
I went off to boarding school. You grew.
Before we knew it you were done with elementary school. Brilliantly as always. Dad and mummy wanted you at my school. I refused, recounting the sad things we had to go through at school. You came anyway. Was glad you eventually left for a better school.
Though you sometimes had things tough I was always proud of you. You were always resilient and relentless. I had more faith in you than I had in me. And I am proud to say you have never let me down.
Through life’s challenges we communed.
We cried together and laughed together.
We talked. Of how different things could be and how we would make changes when we had the chance.
We had each other amidst our different schedules.
I was always happy to meet your friends.
The look of admiration you all had for me was priceless.
We are adults now. We seek each other’s counsel and have faith in our care and love for each other.
You speak your mind bluntly with no time for sugar-coating (wonder where you got that from). We are quite agreed on the fact that “we don’t have good mouths” (definitely genetic).
My faith in you has never wavered.
You have grown into a beautiful self-assured, confident woman. I am so proud of you.
You are top of your class (you have always been).
You are a shining light. A positive difference in your generation.
On this special day I just wish to say
I could not have asked for a better younger, little sister. Nay I could not have asked for a better younger one.
You are a gift to us all. Of this, there is no doubt from any quarter.
May your light shine ever bright.
May your days be long and fulfilled.
May your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
May you continue to conquer on all fronts.
May you continue to grow from strength to strength.
May your days be filled with laughter.
May your steps be graced with purpose.
May your speech be seasoned with salt.
May lives be touched by your hands.
Dad would be so proud of you.
You are blessed beyond words and expectations.
My little one.
On this May 12, Happy Birthday.
My little one.