She held the coveted position of first-born, but unfortunately for her she eventually had to share the stage with three siblings.  I was the last; making my appearance nearly ten years later, and surprising everyone by being a girl.  She shouldered the great responsibility of babysitting my other sister (remember Nancy, the brave one?) and me.  We called her Nina.
Lynda Lee, as beautiful as a summer day with her green eyes reminiscent of rich grassy moss blanketing stones beneath a lazy creek.  Her smile as bright and honest as the warm afternoon sun.  She can't deny the gift given her, but would rather fade all of that into the periphery and be seen for what she boasts on the inside.  Equally as eye catching, she holds the traits of those most noble among us, and she is my hero.

I remember spending some of my favorite days with her as a child.  She was in high school when my memories were birthed, and they found me following her around, mimicking her moves.  She worked at a candy store, and she would bring me home white chocolate covered pretzels.  I still find myself looking for them, and wonder if I am really searching for a time when my world was a little less complicated. I never felt that she compared me to anyone.  I knew she loved me as I was.

I would try her clothes on while she was away at school; slipping my small socked feet into her high-heeled shoes.  She would french braid my hair and take me shopping.  She spoiled me with green Faygo and Funyons.  (Some things never change.) Although I doubt she would have considered it time well spent, she was singing my love language, filling me up and leaving me satisfied. 

She married when I was ten and while I was happy to get my own room, I missed her.  My teens years soon followed and she was there to talk about boys and school and the other things that seem bigger than life.  Time continued and I too married and moved away from home.  Our life stages slowly synchronized.

It seems a funny thing the way relationships evolve.  Something like a caterpillar erupting from its cocoon to make the world gasp at the beautiful wings it has formed, never imagining that something so spectacular and intricate could come from the fuzzy, gray mound. That is where life has carried us.  This delicate, amazing thing called friendship, displaying its colors of loyalty and love.  She still holds the status of hero for me, but I've since placed her on the best friend shelf as well.

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