When you grow up thinking your older cousin is your sister, all of a sudden, her wedding day becomes important to you too.
Once upon a time, when Megan and I were little girls jumping bales, hiking the valley, feeding calves, painting our (and Uncle Gerald’s) nails, playing Cheat, or choreographing our own dances, we made a deal. When we were old enough and were to be married, we would be there for each other as a bridesmaid. I distinctly remember being dressed up in a combination of old dance costumes and play clothes having this conversation in the toy room at my house. We used to joke about which Backstreet Boy we would marry, or if he would be from N’Sync, but the real question was, Nick or Aaron Carter? It wasn’t until my phone rang last September, that I started to recall the nostalgia of these memories.
I was at home when my phone lit up and I took the call from Megan. She had just said Yes! and was freshly engaged to Evan, her now, fiancé! Listening to her tell me this over the phone, I could feel my face start to hurt from smiling so much. I have never heard her sound so happy, and I’ll never know this, but I think she might have been on the verge of crying happy tears as I was talking to her. Considering I had just visited with her a week earlier and we had talked about our next phases of life, it almost seemed ironic she was calling to tell me this! When I said goodbye, so she could call the rest of the family, my heart felt full. I must have sat there smiling for a long time, because my Mom eventually walked by and asked, what I was grinning about.
After hearing Megan sound this happy, I started thinking about the other times I heard her like that. Whether it was a successful water balloon fights, slip and slides, tobogganing off the creek banks, using the Gameboy on the drive into town, swims at Lovering Lake, putting in curlers in our hair at recitals, or peddle boating out to Two-Tree Point, I was suddenly flooded with endless memories we spent together. Once I started to settle back into reality, I realized how lucky I am to have seen and shared these, and many other moments with her. Now that we are both ladies, rather than little girls, I am also realizing Megan’s most recent happy moments are now shared with Evan. As I reflected on this, I thought I might feel a bit jealous, or perhaps a sense of replacement. The reality is, I felt neither. Instead I felt grateful.
Evan and Megan have been together for almost ten years. Within those ten years is where Megan and I began developing into our own adult selves. When we went to different cities for University, and eventually different cities again for our careers; we kept in touch, but were no longer dancing through everyday parts of each others life. Instead, Evan was there and able to give her that everyday love I always wanted her to continue having. During Megan and I’s time in different cities, I came to understand that Evan was the guy to make her laugh, bring her soup when she was sick, pick her up from the airport, and became a person who loves her as much I do. The best part is Evan became the guy I’ve watched Megan fall in love with. When I heard Megan and Evan were engaged, I felt my own sense of joy knowing they were about to take on the world, in love, and together.
As an athlete there are not a lot of fancy things I can currently afford to give as presents, however, I can try to explain how good it feels to know that my older sister has found her person. I know Megan and I will always be close, but the gratitude I feel knowing Evan gets to cherish the Megan I was privileged to grow up with is better than a good present. My biggest wish for Megan has always been that she finds someone who loves her as much as I do, and I’m glad she found it. For me I had an older sister to tell me what (not) to wear and inform me of the latest and cool trends. How to Krimp my hair, make a pair of ski pants look good, rock our gifted matching track suits, and the magic of coffee. I think it’s fair to say we helped shape one another as we prepared to make our mark in the world. Growing up side by side with Megan, I have seen and know how much love (and fire) Megan has towards life and those around her.
First, thank-you for thriving in her fire to see the love that is underneath it. For your sake, here are a few things I have learned: in an argument, she is right. Her only true competitor is Grandma Taylor. And if she really needs those shoes, the answer is, and always will be yes. But despite an attempt to prove her wrong (trust me, you won’t) Megan is beautiful, kind, caring, and the best older sister I could have asked for. Never undermine her stubbornness, and know it fuels her drive to support her family, and the one’s she loves. I’m sure you already know all of this, but in case you had any doubts, I still stand by the above statements.
Second, I know this wedding is important to you, but know it is important to me too, because even though I’m not an official sister, I feel like I am passing on the torch to you to be the one to love and take care of Megan in the everyday setting. Plus, once this is official, I think this means I get to add another brother to the family. Congratulations, and welcome to the family!
Finally, and most importantly Evan, thank-you for being the guy to sweep Megan off her feet, and bring her this much happiness. I am truly grateful for all that you do for her! Please know, I will always have a big spot for Megan in my heart, but now that you two are official, know that you have a big spot in my heart too. I can hardly believe the amazing things Megan Taylor has accomplished, but I am even more excited to see the amazing things Megan Peterson is going to do!
So to both, Megan and Evan, Congratulations!
I wish you both a lifetime of happiness!
I love you!
I can’t wait for the amazing future before you!
And I’m wishing you both #HappilyEvanAfter on your big day!