i stepped off the escalator, and i saw him. i saw my handsome boyfriend of only a few short months beaming with pleasure as i walked toward him. i kept his gaze until i was in his arms. he smelled so good.
from over his shoulder i saw someone else. a pretty girl in a purple turtleneck sweater. i knew she'd be there. the butterflies already fluttering in my stomach in anticipation of landon flapped wildly when i saw kylah.
would she like me? i was dating her big brother. i didn't usually get along with girls all that well. i wondered.
but when my eyes met hers she smiled a sweet, natural smile.
i hesitated. unsure of whether to stick out my hand for a shake or to just smile back.
she never hesitated. she immediately reached for me and wrapped me in a hug that predicted a friendship neither of us could have ever imagined at the time.
even as early as that weekend -- it was thanksgiving weekend 2002 in odessa -- i laid in her bed, confessing a myriad of feelings, including extremely strong ones for the man that is her brother.
it'd only been a few months, but he had stolen my heart. it'd only been a few minutes, and his sister had my trust.
i know she loved to hear the romantic, charming stories. she still does.
it's one of the best things about her. she's a wonderful listener.
neither of us could have understood just how necessary the elimination of "in-law" would be as things progressed between landon and me.
from the moment i knew i wanted to marry landon (um, i think we'd been dating three months..), kylah was my sister.
pure and simple. sister.
and she's the most wonderful kind of sister.
she listens to me. she encourages me. she cheers me on. she is excited when i am. she is sad when i am. she keeps secrets. she gives me advice. she prays for me. she loves me. she is gentle and genuine. also, she makes me laugh. she inspires me. i want to be like her. she is always poised, beautiful and thinks of everything. she's an excellent hostess and an amazing teacher. she has helped me realize the many benefits of girlfriends. she is the living, breathing epitome.
i am overwhelmed with thanks when i think of getting to grow up together. she is an incredible aunt, and the very thought of being an aunt to her children brings tears to my eyes.
will it be emma and ellie? brawlee and ellie? our children will be cousins! we'll have christmas and thanksgiving and summer trips and random family dinners.
not a day passes that i'm not thankful for kylah.
she is my best friend. i don't know why God thought it necessary to send me not only an outstanding husband, but an outstanding sister.
all i know is i am INCREDIBLY glad He did.
i love you, jo. happy 26th birthday.