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Growing up as the oldest of 6 with 3 of my siblings being girls, I never could have imagined the treasures they would become to my life. But it wasn’t always that way.

Rebecca came along when I was 7 years old, Sarah when I was 10, and Hannah when I was 16.

At 16, being more into boys, my music, friends and trying to do my own thing; finding out I had yet ANOTHER sister on the way was followed by eye rolling, and storming off to my room. Remembering that night 11 years ago makes me chuckle now, but at the time I’m pretty sure it wasn’t funny to me.

Being so much older than they, it’s safe to say I viewed them more as responsibilities than sisters. But time and life has a way of changing things. I came face to face with that yesterday when I couldn’t stop looking at these pictures of us together, realizing how much my love for them is evolving through the years.

More and more, the faces of the little sisters that used to just get on my nerves are a few of the first to cross my mind when I just want someone to hang out with, or have big news to share.

Time is changing our relationships. Making it so beautiful and so precious.

Relationships can be temporary, fickle things. People walk into our lives and they walk out again. But there’s something so very precious to me in the enduring love of a sister. No matter how rocky the road gets between us, still there is safety in the unconditional bond we share.

It’s this unspoken, mutual understanding that we might fight, but not making up isn’t an option.

The truth might hurt, but I’ll love you enough to speak it in love anyway.

We might not always agree, but I’ll always be there.

You might fall, but I’ll be there to pick you up again.

We might not always like each other, but my love is here to stay.

This kind of love, this sister love – is a gift.

And I can’t help but wonder if this kind of love and bond was never intended to be exclusive to blood sisters. Maybe it’s meant for even more than that.