an open letter to my sister

To my amazing little sister on the day before her wedding–

Sofie,

Almost five years ago, you wrote me a letter after my wedding and I still think about it often. It meant more to me than I could ever possibly describe through words, but my hope is that I can reciprocate your moving gesture to you now on the day before your wedding.


There really is no better place to start than where you started your letter– and that was with I LOVE YOU. I love you so, so much, my dear sweet sister.

Now, let’s take it back to the beginning. You’ve been a part of my life almost since before I can remember. My first memory of you was seeing you walking down the hallway of Hayes when you were in preschool and telling one of my friends that you were my doctor’s daughter. It’s crazy how life evolved from there. Remember when we got to walk around Weed Park together during that church cookout thing? We went to that open house inside that gorgeous old home and ran around picking out which rooms would be ours if we were sisters. Then we really became sisters.

Man, do I remember some really great times during those years in the house on Woodlily Ridge. We always had so much fun making up dances, watching movies in the basement, making those fun bead things that you melt with an iron, playing that funny online game with penguins LOL–the memories with you (and Dom!) are endless and completely priceless. I got to watch you blossom from a little girl into a beautiful woman. And while not everything from that time may have lasted, our sisterhood did– and for that, I am forever grateful.

You are such a spectacular person, Sofie. You are kind, understanding, intelligent (the list could go on and on and on), and you have the most beautiful soul. I might be your big sister, but I look up to you. You are an inspiration. Whether it be from your selfless career path, your passion for music, or your immense love of family— your heart is always showing in all that you do. It’s those qualities, among so many others, that made me want you to be Ivy’s Godmother. You’re the perfect role model to her, and to Isla. You will show them how to be strong, how to have resilience— you will motivate them, you will encourage them. They’ll look to you, not only as their aunt, but as their friend, and I know you’ll always be there for them, and for that I’m so thankful.

I’m so proud of you, Sof. I’m proud of you for the amazing woman you are, for chasing your dreams, for not settling for anything less than exactly what you want. I’m proud of you for standing up for what you believe in, defending your beliefs, using your voice for so much good even when it’s hard. I’m proud of you, always– proud to be your big sister. And don’t forget, I’m always here. Marriage is a big adventure– one you really can’t prepare for until you’re on the road– but I’m here no matter what– to support you, encourage you, to lift you up. You can call me anytime. Call me to vent, for advice, to celebrate a happy moment, just to talk. You name it, I’m here.

And now a little something for Stephen–

Stephen,

You clearly already know this, but, WOW, you’re one lucky guy to have won my sister’s heart. Thank you for cherishing her and loving her how she deserves to be cherished and loved. Marriage is work, hard work for that matter, but it’s so worth it when you’re putting in the work with your best friend. Give yourselves grace, practice understanding, and never go to bed mad. Take care of my little sister and protect her always– and welcome to the family!

Sof, you know I could keep writing for a very, very long time, but I’ll close with this… Enjoy tomorrow, soak it all in, it will go so fast, but will be one of the best days of your life. I’m beyond excited to be here to witness and celebrate this moment in your life. I love you, sis.

Now, LET’S DO THIS!

Love, Jess

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