Darren Smith with Douglas Came – Last Drive
Although I cannot remember this far back, my parents tell me that I worshipped my sister while a toddler. I would follow her around, always want to be included in whatever she was doing, and obey her every command. This worked well for her as she took great pride and joy in telling me exactly what to do.
Being two years younger meant that I followed her from elementary school to middle school and middle school to high school. Each stage never failed to voice the phrase “You must be Erin’s little brother.” Luckily, everyone always loved my sister so I got to start every part of my education with a good reputation. Though this made it difficult as someone that has always yearned for independence.
Like most siblings, we went through an extended period of fighting and rivalry. A revolving door between being dear friends and bitter enemies, which only grew worse as we entered high school. The conflicting feelings only resolved themselves when she left for college and all of a sudden I realized what it was that I had lost. Since then we have never lived in the same city for more than a month at a time and both live very busy lives. Finding time to spend together has become a very rare and precious thing to me.
I took special joy spending this last week with my sister traveling through Finland and Estonia. Unlike Rome and Paris where you could spend years without seeing all of the sights, Finland and Estonia are both very simple places. We spent the days listening to jazz in the park, shopping in the market places, hiking in the woods and visiting nearby islands. Most importantly, however, I watched as our relationship began to shift from siblings to friends.
My favorite moments of the trip by far were simple conversations which strayed away from the traditional safe conversations to discussions about what is really important to us. I took special pride whenever she asked my advice or even allowed me to listen to what was currently going on her life. Even if it meant hearing about her love life: a tough job for any over-protective brother.
The intensity of law school this past year has taught me to cherish my family more and more. I don’t know anyone who is as blessed as I am in the friends they keep. Still, there are some moments in life where only family will suffice. Mom, Dad and sister, I love you all and am so grateful for your love.