March 30, 2009 at 6:00 pm 1 comment

My mom tells me that before my brother was born, I hoped for a sister. Even after he was born, and the neighbor watching me at home told me the news of my newborn little brother, I insisted that no, sir, you are mistaken, for I am meant have a sister. Only I had a brother. And eventually, once I met him — my brother — I was cool with it. For the rest of my life, in fact — I never missed having a sister.

That is, until I met this lady.


This is Kelly. Today is her birthday.

I first met Kelly, the woman who would become my sister-in-law, six years ago. I was visiting Keith at his college, which Kelly also attended. We stopped by Kelly’s apartment one evening to say hello. Honestly, it wasn’t really a noteworthy moment, aside from it being our first meeting. The real story is that Kelly grew up sisterless, too. As we became friends, we discovered our shared sense of humor and passion for ice cream. And we wear the same size clothes. And shoes. It’s as if we were meant to be together, even if Keith hadn’t been in the picture.


Kelly helped me pick out my wedding dress in three hours flat. She helped me hoist the darn 752 pound gowns on and off. And I was there to help her pick out hers. She didn’t need help hoisting.


We ran our first 5K together. She beat me, and I’m cool with that. I beat her in the next one.

We’ve gotten lost on road trips together, we’ve camped together, we’ve gotten pedicures together, we’ve made secret shopping trips to Ann Taylor Loft together. We’ve carved jack-o-lanterns and dyed Easter eggs together. She helped me make latkes for New Year’s Eve; and then she helped eat them. We’ve talked about life, and talked about men, and talked about curtains, and talked about nothing. Kelly is a kind, genuine soul, who’s generous with her friendship. She’s honest — and sarcastic, to balance out all her sweetness THANK GOD — unafraid to express her feelings. Yet she always seems to know what to say in a given situation, to make you feel good or bad — whatever it is you deserve at the moment — and it’s a talent I’ve always respected and admired. Plus, she’s good at math.

Most importantly, Kelly seems to appreciate my nonsense. She gets me, and there are only 2.7 other people in this world who can do that.


So just to clear things up, I only call her sister-in-law for the sole purpose of defining the technical nature of our relationship. When I think of Kelly, she’s just my sister. I owe her thanks, because at long last I know the immeasurable joys of sisterhood, without having to have gone through all of that messy growing up business. Even though, right now, we often feel directionless in our young lives, I’m happy enough having a sister to be directionless with. It makes the future look that much brighter, knowing she’ll be there.


And I’ve come to terms with the fact that it took 22 years for the universe to gift me with a sister. Kelly was worth the wait.


Entry filed under: Characters. Tags: , , , .

A character sketch It’s virtual Friday!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Kelly Houck  |  March 31, 2009 at 9:48 am

    That is the best birthday present ever! Thanks sis!!! :)

    Now I wish I could give you a big hug but you’re too far away :(

    Miss you!


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