I have spent the past couple of days preparing for this moment. This moment of standing on the stage at church in my sky-high heels, watching my big brother get married. To be honest, the whole thing has seemed so unreal. Even now, as I stand here, it doesn't seem like a real wedding that's happening. Josh isn't getting married to the love of his life, getting ready to spend the rest of his days as part of the "Josh and Kali Rogerson" package deal; he can't be. We're just a couple of little kids, dressed up like a pirate and an angel and about to shake some neighbors down for their candy.
More than that, Josh can't be just a few feet from me, sharing his vows with an amazing, God-sent woman, because we're huddled under the Christmas tree in Trieste, counting presents and sharing secrets about our most recent crushes.
There's no way Josh is getting married, because this is the same brother who gave me an Indian Burn when I told him I was excited about going back to school, and yelled at me for changing the radio station on our way to school.
He can't be getting married, because he's my big brother and I'm scared to share him.
You know, I think anyone who knows our family is painfully aware of the fact that Josh and I fight worse than cats and dogs. Growing up, one of my favorite insults to hurl at him was, "You're such a jerk, you'll never find someone willing to marry you!" Guess Kali was here to prove me wrong...
Yet despite the fact that I've often thrown myself, sobbing, across my bed, declaring to whomever might be interested that he was the worst brother ever, the truth is I couldn't have asked for a better one. Our relationship hasn't always been perfect; we're both far too fond of arguing and coming out the winner to have much peace. But despite the fact that Josh is the one person in the world who knows how to infuriate me more than any of my other friends, when no one's looking he can also be the nicest brother.
He's the brother who randomly called me my first year of college to check up on me; he's the brother who took me on my first runs, encouraging me to keep going even when all I wanted was to curl up in the fetal position and take a nap. And, when I checked into the hospital for depression last February, he's the brother who sent me the text that made me cry (sentimental, happy tears) more than anyone else, just to let me know he loved me.
The past couple months have forced me to realize that I love my brother, and I want him to spend the rest of his life being insanely happy. So to Kali, thanks for being the person who can see through all his bluster and bravado and realize that, somewhere deep deep down, he's just a great guy. Thanks for being okay with joining the crazy, sometimes dysfunctional, Rogerson family, and for making it better with your presence. And finally, thanks for fulfilling my life-long dream of having a big sister :)
In a few minutes, PaPa's going to pronounce Josh and Kali as man and wife, and we will finally be able to say that this picture represents the Rogerson family.
I don't know about you all, but I'm gonna be celebrating that these two lives are now one. Heck, I'm gonna be celebrating the fact that someone took it upon herself to marry my brother so I won't be saddled with him when he's old and crotchety and even more unbearable than he is now :)
I love you, bro, and I love you, new sis.