Katie Strumpf
"Helping kids with cancer.......a cancer survivor's story"  

Big Sis, Little Sis.

To say that I adore my sister is an understatement.

I think she is the cutest, smartest, sassiest, funniest little sister there is.

 It wasn’t always this way, I wasn’t a big fan of her when she was first born.

 To be honest (when am I anything but?) I wasn’t really very interested in her when she was a baby, I had my little brother, and in my 9-year old world, this was enough.

In fact, apparently a family friend asked if I wanted a little brother or sister when my mom was pregnant with my brother, to which I promptly replied, “A brother obviously, so then I can get all of the family jewels.”

 Clearly (Frighteningly?) my materialistic priorities were in order at a young age, so what did I need with a little sister with whom I would have to share baubles?

 That attitude quickly changed, and I saw my sister had a lot to offer.

 She was the first person to show up the day we found out that Adam was terminal.

 In many ways we are similar; outspoken, philanthropic, opinionated, good dancers, lovers of red meat.

 We put the exact same toppings on at frozen yogurt places; strawberries and mini dark chocolate chips. (For the record, I introduced her to that delicious combo.)

We are also very different, she is much more athletic than me, more adventurous, puts on eyeliner better, more compassionate, a better dancer, likes Broadway plays more, smarter.

She taught me how to Dougie. 

 I am 9 years older than Ariel, but there have been several times since Adam’s passing that she has acted like the big sister to me.

I love that she has a picture of her and Adam in her room. 

 Tomorrow my baby sister takes the MCATs, and on Sunday she leaves for Israel, to teach English for 10 months.

 While home this past weekend, I quizzed her on definitions for the MCATs. I could barely pronounce some of the words, yet she flawlessly detailed the definitions.

 To say I am proud and in awe of my sister is an understatement.

 This past Saturday our dad had a Kiddush at our synagogue in Annapolis to celebrate my sister’s impending trip.

 She and I were both asked to read prayers in front of the synagogue, luckily in English.

 There was some confusion when I was up there, and the President of the synagogue kept whispering behind me as I read, “Start..Stop, Start…Stop.” Suffice to say I did just that and looked and sounded pretty foolish.

 I wasn’t too concerned, but Ariel asked me if she sounded nervous, or was stumbling over words?

 I assured her she didn’t, and besides, anything would sound better after me!

 But isn’t that the very role of the big sister; to go first, to make things easier, better for their little sister?

 Every time I said; “Start..Stop” over the next few days, Ariel would dissolve into laughter.

 Her laugh is one of the best sounds in the world.

 We kept hearing the song “Some Nights” by Fun, and this song will now always remind me of that weekend, as songs often do. The chorus recites:

 “What do I stand for?”

 So as my sister embarks on this exciting new path in life, and finds out what she stands for…. in Israel, as a potential doctor, as the amazing person she is and is becoming…

 I will watch as her proud big sister, for I will always stand for her.

For those wondering, I inherited better jewelry than her.

Just in case anyone was curious.

Posted by Katie Strumpf at 4:48 PM on August 22, 2012 | Comments (0)


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