When I found out that my sister’s getting married, I was sad and happy at the same time. It’s a natural reaction but a truly selfish one, too.
We weren’t that close when growing up, that’s why it gets me thinking whenever someone comments that my sister and I seem pretty close. Our younger selves frequently clashed and we had different likes and interests. But I guess growing up doesn’t just change people. It changes relationships, too.
Our personalities are way too different. She’s an extreme extrovert, and I’m an awkward introvert. She’s a Choleric-Melancholic, while I’m a Sanguine-Phlegmatic. She shines and thrives in the spotlight, while I cower and flounder under it.
But despite all our differences, I can say that no one else knows me as well as my sister does. Maybe because we share the same room and the same bed all our lives, and all our fights and arguments let us thoroughly understand each other’s quirks. Or maybe we just matured and realized that we’ll always have each other’s back.
We’re not the type to be sweet and cheesy. We were already grownups when we stopped cringing when we kiss and hug each other. We’re not the type to have heart to heart talks about our wishes and dreams, or to pine over our love lives while we lay in bed at night, trying to fall asleep. We share a lot of things, but there are just some things that we don’t discuss with each other.
However, we are the type who can stay cooped up in a room together, finishing a 16-episode Korean drama over a weekend. We watched the same KPOP concerts together, and shared and realized the same dream of traveling to Korea during our teenage years. It’s difficult to find a commonality between us, aside from our shared love for travel, KPOP and Kdramas.
Outside our home, we move in two completely different worlds. She attends to patients day in and day out, while I face the computer 24/7. I will probably never fully fathom the gravity and the weight of the work she does, and probably she’ll never truly understand what I do for a living. But over the years, we shed off our immaturity and actually ended up being friends and confidantes. We share secrets and discuss woes about our careers and future paths together.
To world she may be Doc Lele, but she will always be ate to me. It will be difficult to see her as someone’s wife or someone’s mom when all my life I only saw her as my older sister, who gets easily irritated over my silly antics but who also selflessly pampers and guides me, especially when we got older.
So yes, her wedding day was full of laughter and smiles, but there were nonstop crying, too. If you asked me why we kept crying on that day, I wouldn’t be able to explain. I guess it was just overwhelming to see her step into the new stage of her life. We were just kids playing piko and tagu-taguan to teens fangirling over the same KPOP stars to adults stressing over money and difficult life choices and doubting and fulfilling our dreams together.
As she stepped into one of the biggest milestones of her life, it was the overwhelming pride and happiness and a touch of sadness that had us bawling from start to finish.
Coming from a family that easily cries over the simplest things, it was just expected that we’d be crying from the night before the wedding till the last segment of the wedding reception. It didn’t help that I even foolishly decided to write her a poem and read it in the wedding.
For my maid of honor speech, I knew I’d be a crying mess the same way I was during her thanksgiving party when they asked me to deliver a congratulatory speech. So I decided to write my speech this time, but for some reasons I wrote her a poem instead. I don’t write poems, but I couldn’t think of any other way to fully express how thankful and fortunate I am to be her sister. Simple words weren’t enough, and I just hoped that I managed to fully express how thankful and happy I am for her.
I barely finished reading the poem between all the sobbing. There are still many things I wanted to tell her during the speech, but speaking was never my forte.
Not everyone has the privilege to have a sister, and I am one of the lucky ones who do. Growing up, there were just two of us, but it was never lonely. The last couple of years have been pretty rough, but I’m one hundred percent sure that I only managed to survive unscathed through it all because of my sister. She shows love and affection in her own ways. Though she may appear tough and rough to others, she’s made of love and warmth, and I am more than blessed to be her little sister.
A lot of things have changed and will continue to change. And as you start a new stage of your life, know that I’ll always, always be here for you. I most likely won’t be able to give sound advice about marriage, but I’ll always be willing to listen.
Thank you, ate, for being the best sister anyone could ever ask for. Thank you for experiencing the world’s firsts before I do and letting me learn from you. Thank you for all the times you got mad and scolded me when I make mistakes, especially when I’m too dumb to realize it. Thank you for being my constant and my anchor because I surely wouldn’t have survived adulthood without you. You’re the strongest, bravest, kindest woman I know, and I will always be proud to be your sister.
Thank you for being my ate.