Love Letter

Natalie Janssen with her sister Emily Janssen posing for a selfie in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC in November 2021.

Natalie Janssen

Natalie Janssen with her sister Emily Janssen posing for a selfie in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC in November 2021.

To my older sister, 

I am writing this to say thank you for being there for me for the past 17 years. We have stuck together through thick and thin. We have gone through so many different challenges and have had to adapt to so many different obstacles thrown at us. 

So many people are surprised by the fact that we are 5 years apart. That we are inseparable even though you live 30 minutes away. To us it hasn’t been surprising because we have done everything together and after you left for college it felt different but our relationship didn’t change.

When you moved into college, that was one of the hardest days of my life because I had to say goodbye to my best friend. I remember crying and unsure of what my life would look like without you there every day. I wore the necklace you gave me every day, just so you could be with me. Eventually, I got used to it but it was still hard to say goodbye when you would come home. 

Now, you are graduating from college. It’s been 4 whole years since you left home the first time. It really hasn’t hit me yet and probably hasn’t hit you yet. I just know you are going to move on to great and successful things, but I am not ready to let go yet. 

You have been my best friend since the day I was born. You gave me a pink teddy bear and made sure nothing bad would come my way. You always protected me growing up, and when I grew up, I protected you. 

We speak on the same wavelength. We know each other like the back of our hand. We are 5 years apart but people thought we were twins. We talked at the same time. We had the same emotions. For 17 years, we were the same person and you were the most important person in my life. 

Emily, you are my person, my best friend, my role model. Ever since I was younger I wanted to be you. Your smile brings me so much joy. Your eyes are just like mine and are a swirl of beautiful colors. Your personality is something I have never seen before. You are the most genuine, kind, and caring person I have met. 

Most people put on a facade so people will like them. You don’t have to do that. You just walk up to someone and they automatically know you are going to be the most amazing thing to happen to them. When you smile everyone’s day gets brighter and when you talk about how you’re excited everyone automatically lights up. 

From before I can even remember you were amazing with children. I see the way you look at and care for our younger cousins and I remember the way you cared for me. You played Barbies with me even when you didn’t want to, you helped me control my stress, you helped me to live my life to the fullest. So in the future, when you are debating what you want to do, consider something with kids. I’m your advocate, you were the best big sister I could have ever asked for. You never cease to impress me and you will always be the one I look up to. 

Love you forever,

Your little sister, Nat