I’ve never written anything about my oldest sister, because how do you write about the only member of your family that actually holds it all together? It’s too much pressure.
Jennifer is 14 years older than me and until this year she was less like a sister than an additional parent. (A very cool additional parent, mind you.)
She is a rock. Dependable ’til the day she dies. And like most oldest children will boss you around and put you in your place and plan all the fabulous parties (including her own birthday) and care for all the ailing relatives and run a business and take her son to French, and soccer, and piano and plan the trip to Disneyland and….
Well, you get it right?
If there was ever a case for superwoman as a real-life entity, my sister is in the running for first place.
Jenn has an opinion about everything (clearly this is a Richardson trait) and I used to think that disagreeing with her would be dangerous because her booming voice and innate authority would be sure to convince you to trade sides. Turns out if you stand your ground she smiles and nods and respects your opinion. Hmmm, novel idea.
You see, Jenn was made for greatness. She is powerful because her life requires it. If you don’t want to be run over all you need to do is stand up. She’ll let you come along for the ride and she will never leave you high and dry. She is friends with EVERYONE — the Thai restaurant owners, the pharmacist, the bank tellers, the grocery store checkers. If you want to be her friend then you are. Done deal.
Jennifer can stitch together a dozen ideas and makes a masterpiece. She is logical, but lives each day relying on faith that what she needs is going to come her way. And it always does. If you ask her, she’ll have enough faith to share.
I can never thank my sister enough for paying for my Advanced Calculus classes when I was 17. And for reminding me that I was smart and beautiful every time I saw her from the ages of 4 to…probably forever. And for encouraging me to apply for Harvard if I wanted to (I chickened out). And for taking care of my broken body for the past six weeks as I heal from my car accident. And for negotiating an affordable car for me last week. And for pretty much being a rock — reliable and true for the past 26 years.
Jennifer, you deserve a medal.
And I adore you.