By Krista Swenor Brennfoerder
I don’t know what people do without sisters. Seriously. My life is so much richer for my relationships with mine- and I have the added benefit of being the youngest (and slowest moving on my life journey), so I have gotten to learn from them as they have crossed milestones- prom, dating, sports, college, marriage, babies- before me. All of my sisters inspire me in the way they face the challenges of juggling work, school, coaching, and parenting with more grace and patience than I typically even have just waiting in line at Walmart.
First, my oldest sister, Jenni. One of my favorite memories of Jenni is when we were at Disney World one year. Let me preface this story with the fact that one of my nicknames as a child was “the pokey little puppy” (which my dad has graciously reframed with “she was just very curious about the world” in recent years). So, we’re at Disney World and we were running to catch the SpectroMagic parade, and I was lagging behind. Eventually I fell and skinned my knees trying to catch up. Jenni picked me up and carried me on her back the rest of the night. I could go on with several great memories: Jenni teaching me how to do my make-up, Jenni serving me nachos and “the usual” (ginger ale) when I used to visit her working at the Villager Pub, the time Jenni visited me in Ann Arbor and we watched movies all. weekend. long. because we were both so over studying. Jenni has a strong spirit and a joyful personality. She makes the people around her feel welcome and included, and she would do anything for anyone. She’s gone through a lot of hardships lately and she is striving to do the right thing and look to her faith instead of giving up or giving in. Jenni is smart and tough and fun. She’s a terrific big sister.
Next, my second oldest sister, Juli. One of my favorite memories with Juli is making up songs together or singing duets. I also used to love watching Juli and her friends dancing to Michael Jackson or Ace of Base. Juli has this amazing energy about her. You cannot be around Juli for long before you have to smile, and it’s almost impossible to stay mad at her for very long. In high school Juli went through some hard times, and looking back I am so amazed and respect her so much for the positive changes she made in her life. When Juli was a child all my parents had to do was look at her and she would start crying and stop doing wrong. That just shows what a sensitive and loving heart she has. She is smart and loving and charming to be around. She’s a wonderful big sister.
Last, my twin sister, Kati. I wish I could attach a link to my sister’s maid of honor speech at my wedding. It was so beautiful and heartfelt and intelligent. These are words that describe Kati. My favorite memories with Kati are memories of talking before we fell asleep growing up. I loved playing sports with her, visiting her at college (and crying when we left each other), trips to the cottage with friends or family. I’ve noticed that since I’ve gotten married I find myself thinking, “how would Kati handle this situation?” Usually the answer is that she’d handle the situation with much more grace and kindness than I am currently doing. Kati has one of the most tender hearts of anyone I’ve known. She is likely to cry if she sees someone else is crying- she has that much empathy for others. Kati also has a quiet strength. You wouldn’t guess it, but if someone she cares about is being hurt, she will step right up and say something. Kati is brilliant and compassionate and strong. She’s the best twin sister a person could have.
All of my sisters are the epitome of beauty and strength. All of my sisters are a blessing to me.