This means I'm pushing 33, doesn't it?

Dear Auntie N,

Your birthday was yesterday (yes, I am aware that I suck and that I'm a day late). I just wanted to say happy birthday.

You know, I have a couple sisters already. I've got that one that looks just like me but it blissfully unaware that her mom & my dad got it on 28 years ago or so. I don't think she even remembers me anymore. I've got the batshit crazy one that I haven't seen since she was 11 and I'm quite happy to keep it that way. And there's the one who I have known, on and off, for her whole life; the one who isn't actually related to me but we sorta grew up togetherish just because her mom married my dad. She's 22. I'm 32. Need I say more?

So yeah, I have a few sisters running around, but I've never actually had a sister before. I always assumed that the whole giggling, secret-sharing, cooking yummies in a kitchen thing was something that happened exclusively in movies. And then I met you. And the giggling started. And then there were a few recipes exchanged. And then a couple shots later and our dirty laundry took a cycle in each others' washers.

Dude, I love you so much I don't know what to do with it. It's no accident that you came into my life. You crack me the hell up, you inspire me, you're not afraid to whack me in the head when I screw up. I wish I'd known you before the marriage and the kids and the real world all set in. I wish I knew you in college or high school or from a ridiculous job in our twenties because I imagine we would have some fabulously scandalous stories to tell our grandchildren later. But instead, here we are with life to deal with and kids to chase and dinners to cook and jobs to do and I think we will never, ever have enough time together. Me moving to Canada certainly didn't help that at all, did it?

At the end of the day, though, I am grateful for every minute I have had with you. It's really rare for me to meet someone I can relate to on any level, and yet in you I am reminded so much of myself, but not the right now myself; more like the myself I could be. We grew up in different universes, led very different lives, taken almost opposite roads, and kind of ended up at the same place within ourselves. If I can look in the mirror and even catch a glimmer of the woman you are, I am doing something very, very right.

I think that you very well may have been my Missing Piece. And so, on your birthday(ish), just know that someone out there in the Great White North really, truly, with all her heart, loves you and misses you and wishes you all the happiness in the world. And her kids do, too.

For always & ever baby....