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When we were growing up, my sister and I were both singers and writers. We have many home videos of us warbling together (and me, shoving her aside and insisting, “THEY WERE TAKING A PICTURE OF ME!!!” True story). We have that blend that only related people have–why do you think there are so many family singing groups? The Jackson 5, the Osmonds, the Carpenters, Hanson, the Dixie Chicks, the Jonas Brothers…
We also got great entertainment from writing stories together. We would pass a notebook back and forth in the car on long trips; we wrote an at least ten-part saga featuring Hanson and us; we wrote letters to one another pretending to be pen pals from far away countries. From the time I was very young, I would tell Ashley stories that I made up. My favorites featured little girls named after flowers. I wish I could remember what they did, because I am sure it would make an interesting children’s book series.
Ashley is 2 1/2 years younger than I am, which inevitably made her the perfect person to boss around … and eventually the perfect person to be insanely jealous of. As a typical older sister, I couldn’t stand for her to be better than me at something. And at singing, she is. While I was rejected from every solo opportunity and musical part, people sought her out to sing. She was in a Madrigals group in high school, an a capella group in college, and is apparently THE singer to secure for functions at her church now.
After several years of never being “picked” for anything in church choir and a good year and a half of being out of practice, I’ve pretty much accepted that I am mediocre as good singers go. Sure, I’m not bad. But no one’s going to hire me to sing even at The Climbers’ Wienie Roast and Monthly Talk. And, you know, that’s OK.
Out of the two of us, I’ve become the writer, which is something I have always, always wanted to be. Through this site, my work, and various other opportunities, I am published and read. I hope my influence, my witness for Christ, is through these mediums. Just as Ashley’s is through her gorgeous, insanely large-ranged voice.
If I were talented, I’d insert a video here of her and one of our college friends singing “The Prayer” at our wedding. Then you would know I am not just bragging on my little sis. She is amazing. Leave it to say, I absolutely bawled when she sang at the rehearsal.