I was 8. I was old enough to understand happenings around and form memories. I've seen my Mom go through her pregnancy and give birth to a beautiful little girl. I wasn't by her side when she was born, but went to see her in a few days. And boy, was I smitten! She was the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. Chubby cheeks, dimpled chin, rosy lips... She looked like an angel. Her dimpled smile would make anybody smile back. Still does.
Being old enough by the time she was born, I fed her once she started eating solid foods, helped her walk, talk and literally seen everything first of her. First step, first word, first dress, first birthday, first day of school. Everything!
Growing up, she became my baby sister who'd sit in my lap in the school bus, and I was a big girl she'd turn to for help. We understood each other well, but both of us were closer to my brother who was more contemporary to both. But once she grew up to be an adult, the equation changed. We were more like equals, discussing important things in life like movies, weekend plans, TV shows, music etc. She could talk to me easily about her academics, friends and future plans.
Just as we were settling into a comfortable phase of life, we lost our closest confidant, our brother. Everything changed again.
She once again became my kid sister, whose back I'd watch every minute, make sure she gets to do the things she likes and guide her in life and career. At some point, the shared grief deepened the bond we share, we started understanding and acknowledging each other's feelings much easier than earlier and been there for each other at all times.
We've been through all phases of life together, and in a more civilised way than we did with our brother. Both of us being girls helped a lot, we could appreciate each other's thoughts a lot more because of that.
She spent a quarter of her life with me, almost every single day. The little girl grew up to be an adult, made her own world, started building a career and now is a big girl, who I turn to at all times to share everything about me. She now goes to another country after she gets married, leaving all such wonderful memories with me. If I could choose my siblings ever, I wouldn't pick another. Wishing her the best in life ahead and looking forward to more exciting times ahead. Together. Always.