I never wanted a sister.  I had four brothers who are all significantly older than me so I was really spoiled rotten.  The youngest by 10 years and the only girl were huge advantages for me as a child.  I never yearned for a sibling closer to my age and certainly not a younger child to take attention away from me.  I was no fool.  But since I’ve been in love with Leroy, I’ve grown very attached to his entire family, but no one as much as his sister Anne.

Anne and I were not friends in high school.  We were acquaintances… always polite and phony… she didn’t like me any more than I liked her.  We were complete opposites.  We were involved in FFA activities together quite often, and on the surface we got along, but I would have never considered her a friend.  When Leroy and I started dating, I realized that I had to make an effort.  I knew how much Leroy cared for his sister.  I saw it as a packaged deal.  If I loved him, I’d have to love her too.  I just didn’t realize how easy that would be.

Once we both decided to make an effort, it wasn’t long before we became very close.  We spent a lot of time together both at and away from school.  I never would have imagined how much fun I would have with someone I always saw as so different in personality from myself.

After our marriage and with the arrival of the kids, Anne and I just got closer.  She truly did become my sister.  We missed her terribly when she went away to college and were thrilled to share in the beginning of her relationship with John.  We did everything together.  Anne has nurtured and adored my children from the moment they arrived and has shared in every happy and sad moment I’ve experienced in the last 24 years.  During my hospitalization with pneumonia in 2003, it was Anne that stayed by my bedside, night and day, nursing me back to health.  She was the breathing coach that stood at the foot of my bed, reading the numbers on the oximeter and encouraging me for almost 3 days straight.  I can’t imagine how I would have made it through that experience if she hadn’t been there, not only for me, but for Leroy and the kids as well.  She literally saved my life.

I could write forever of her endearing qualities.  Anyone who knows her will say that she is extraordinary in so many ways.  Her generous spirit and kind-heartedness have made her a very special friend to so many.  We are all so blessed to have her in our lives.  There is nothing I wouldn’t do for her and feel so fortunate to have her as my sister… not just in-law, but by choice.