Growing up, almost every birthday and Christmas consisted of gifts from grandparents in pink and purple. They weren't exactly up to date with the gender bending concepts regarding color schemes. So every year, two identical gifts, only one pink and one purple, would arrive for us. We worked out that I would get pink and she would get purple.
(When I take time to dig through tubs of family photos, I'll add our pink and purple photos to this blogpost. But don't hold your breath; sorting through 13 family members and decades of marriage is mission impossible).
|Yep, even homeschoolers had awkward prom photo moments.|
I'd get the pink Malibu Barbie and she'd get the purple one. I'd get the pink purse, she'd get the purple purse. And so on and so forth.
Looking back, I was always the neatnik. She was like a tornado, clothes tossed here and there, shoes in a pile, toys everywhere. I remember one day dumping out all her drawers and carefully folding them. "Why bother," she asked. "I'm just going to wear them again."
My purple sister was often underestimated during our childhood. She didn't fight to shine in the academic world. She wasn't star champion in a sport. I stayed inside the lines while coloring. She threw the book across the room and ran outside to enjoy life.
In high school, I decided I would be a neonatologist. She hadn't even thought about it, but maybe she'd be a graphic designer. I churned through college classes, grimacing as if I was ripping off bandaids. She wandered freely, making friends and memories.
Then I was off to the prim and proper life. I had the "dream" wedding. She had fun.
|(Notice Purple Sister on the side there).|
I did things the right way. The pink way. Or maybe I should say I believed things had a right way to them. She took after our dad. Eccentric, whimsical, filled with a light happiness and a come-what-may attitude. Her mottos? Things will fall into place. The experience is more important than the goal. Life is about family and friends and fun.
It took me a long time to learn those lessons. My Purple Sister might not know it, but I admire her. Sometimes I've been jealous of her ability to be friends with anyone, to ignore lines drawn in the sand, to stir up happiness and cheer wherever she ventures. People would whisper that she wasn't the best or the smartest, but I knew otherwise. She is incredibly smart.
She is fierce.
She is funny.
She is free.
She is purple.
My Purple Sister got married the other day. She found a Purple Man and they decided to have a Purple Wedding. (No, really, the color scheme was purple and black). It wasn't big and proper. It didn't follow the right customs. It was Friday the 13th, and it rained up a huge storm, complete with hail and tornado sirens. I smiled when I saw how stormy it was that day. Just the way my Purple Sister would want it. It wasn't about satisfying nosey bodies or making an impression. It was just for them, their families and their friends.
Now I have a Purple Sister and a Purple Brother. I hope they have Purple Children and a life of Purple ahead of them. I hope they know how much I love them and how much I appreciate the wisdom she's given me over the years.
Congratulations, Purple People. Go paint the world Purple.